Our Stories : Nature
Learning To Look in Cape May
The Best Place in the World for Birders
Cape May is one of the world’s most famous birding spots. Its’ geographic location, sandwiched between the ocean and the Delaware Bay, funnel southbound migrants to its tip. Added to this is a tremendous diversity of habitat, crammed into a very small area. For the birder, this creates great opportunities to find a wide array of birds without having to travel too far. A birding trip to Cape May will surely show you a wide variety of birds in beautiful surroundings.
World-renowned birder Richard Crossley moved to Cape May in 1991 after he fell in love with it in the 1980’s. His knowledge, enthusiasm and energy for Cape May are second to none. Richard is also revolutionizing the way we look at birds and books. His entire goal is to simplify things so that you can start to see birding and identification of birds as he does. Most people come away pleasantly surprised by how much they can really see. Comments such as “Why didn’t someone tell me this before?” are not unusual! With an emphasis on learning to look, rather than ticking off every bird, The Crossley ID book will help all become better and more independent birders. “The more we are able to look and see on our own, the more enjoyable birding becomes.” Richard Crossley.
As with all migration spots, the weather determines which birds will be around. Some of the places to visit will include Higbee Beach for songbirds. This is typically the best place first thing in the morning. Birds that have arrived in Cape May County overnight remarkably all fly north in the morning (we still don’t fully understand why they do this). Other places that to visit to see songbirds will be the Beanery, State Park and the gardens around Cape May Point. There are a number of spots to see shorebirds and waterbirds, South Cape May Meadows is one of the best.
Cape May is also a famous raptor migration site. Have our eye on the skies at all times but you should also spend some time at the Cape May Hawkwatch. This is the hub of the birding social scene at this time of year, so even on slow days it can be a lot of fun.
From more information on birding in Cape May and the use of our birding backpack, fully equipped with binoculars and birding guide, please stop by the Concierge Desk at Congress Hall.