Cape May

Cape May Bird Observatory

Founded in 1976 by New Jersey Audubon, the Cape May Bird Observatory (CMBO) is a leader in research, environmental education, bird conservation, and recreational birding activities.

CMBO fulfills New Jersey Audubon’s twofold mission of connect people to nature and steward the nature of today for the people of tomorrow in several special ways.

First, embedded in the DNA of CMBO, is our charge of keeping our finger on the pulse of migration. We do this through annual counts and censuses of wlidlife, starting with the Cape May Hawkwatch in 1976, and including the Monarch Monitoring Project (est. 1990), the Avalon Seawatch (est. 1993) and the Morning Flight Songbird Count (est. 2003), and a host of other conservation-driven studies.

Second, we are training the conservation leaders of tomorrow, today, through our seasonal internships, George Myers Naturalist position, and year-round Associate Naturalist programs. Previous interns have gone on to run non-profit organizations, become community leaders in environmental justice, and to carry the torch of spreading the conservation ethic to future generations.

Finally, because we are located a tank of gas from 60 million people, we throw a great party to raise awareness for wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation! Our flagship festivals, the Cape May Fall Festival and Cape May Spring Festival, bring thousands of visitors to Cape May each year to celebrate the magic of migration at one of the greatest migration hotspots on earth! Each May our World Series of Birding engages over 300 participants from all over the world and raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for bird conservation, while highlighting the amazing diversity of birds across the Garden State.

Funded almost entirely by the support of an international membership, two facilities serve our members’ needs and interests.
There are few places in North America which have been birded longer or have more birding advocates than Cape May, New Jersey, one of the planet’s most celebrated migratory junctions. An array of habitat types and a wealth of protected natural areas make Cape May and the entire Delaware Bayshore a birding destination for all seasons. Wind and geography conspire to direct millions of migrating hawks, seabirds, shorebirds, songbirds, butterflies, and dragonflies here every autumn.