Cape May Spring Festival: SO.MANY.BIRDS!

Photo by Phil Witt

From Thursday, May 19 to Sunday, May 22, Cape May Bird Observatory will hold Cape May Spring Festival 2016 at the Grand Hotel of Cape May, 1045 Beach Ave.

Experience tens of thousands of shorebirds migrating, and spectacular songbirds on territory – Spring in Cape May equals SO.MANY.BIRDS.

We are very excited about what we have planned for you during the 2016 Spring Festival. Our traditional walks at Cape May’s signature locations are all on the schedule, including Higbee Beach, The Meadows, Cox Hall Creek WMA, Rea Farm, Cape May Point State Park, Belleplain State Forest, Stone Harbor Point and Heislerville Wildlife Management Area. With our outstanding leaders, packing your schedule with bird walks at those locations is worth the price of admission alone!

But we have added so much more…

How about walking in the footsteps of Witmer Stone on a personally guided tour of Cape May with Bert Filemyr, retired teacher and historian of all things birds?

Do you have your copy of the critically acclaimed Warbler Guide? Why not spend a couple of hours with Scott Whittle, and learn not only about the birds, but about photography techniques, song identification and much more right from the guy who wrote the book!

Hoping for Jaegers, Gannets and the like? Take a three-hour “Trip to the Rips,” our new mini-pelagic, aboard the American Star and be immersed in the melee of a waterbird feeding frenzy! Take a sunset walk or boat trip and await the rising of the full moon – a birders dream in photographer heaven!

Explore our beaches and witness millions of years of co-evolution between horseshoe crabs and a suite of beach-foraging birds. On Saturday evening join expert naturalist Mark Garland to view the spawning of horseshoe crabs as a super-high tide comes in at Norbury’s Landing.

Visit historic East Point Lighthouse and hear from Pete Dunne and Brian Harrington about the beginnings of intensive shorebird monitoring and recovery work.

Join Dale Rosselet and Kevin Karlson for some personal tips based on their book Birding by Impression.

Friday night keynote with Brian Harrington will be a shorebird celebration!

And you won’t want to miss Saturday’s panel discussion marking the 25th anniversary of the publication of Season at the Point, hosted by author Jack Connor, and including Pat and Clay Sutton, Pete Dunne, Jeff Bouton and Paul Kerlinger. We set up the panel for lunch time, so you can enjoy sunset walks and boat trips. New Jersey Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May will be holding its annual Native Plant Sale on Saturday and Sunday, so be sure to work in some time for that.

How many birds will you see? So. Many. Birds.

Registration fees are $65 per day, or come all three days for only $175, with additional costs for bus trips, special walks and evening programs. Preregistration is required and some events have limited capacity, so please sign up now.

For more information and to register, visit and click on ‘Cape May Bird Observatory’ under ‘Centers,’ or call 609-861-0700 ext. 10.