New Jersey Audubon's World Series of Birding
Team "Interpraptors" completed their challenge in the New Jersey Audubon World Series of Birding on May 9, 2015.The team was made up of David Farner, John Callow, Rob Young and John Shafer; all are professional interpretive naturalists from Virginia. They competed in the Swarovski Carbon Footprint Challenge which required teams to walk, pedal or paddle in order to burn no fossil fuels during the event.They biked and hiked a total of 37 miles in their 18 hour search. The team concentrated their effort in the area of Cape May south of the canal. They started at 3 AM and finished at 10 PM.
The Interpraptors had the third highest score in their division with 96 species but placed fifth. (There was tie for both first and second). Two sightings of interest included two Mississippi kites and an American swallow-tailed kite.
The Interpraptors' experience was enriched by being able to help a a team of elementary school students from Maryland that was also scouting for species on the Friday before the event. They were encouraged about the prospects for the future of our avian resources by the number of youth involved in the event. The overall winning team with a total of 208 species was made up of Cornell University students and the team with the day's highest total number of birds was the YMOS Raucus Gulls, a team of high school students!
The team participated in the event in order to raise funds for the Cape May Raptor Banding Project. An early review shows pledges amounting to more than $1500. It's not too late to contribute. You can make a donation by using the PayPal Button found elsewhere on this page. Just leave a notation of WSB.
To learn more about the World Series of Birding, click here.
Cape May Raptor Banding Project Inc. was created to conduct long-term monitoring of the status and trends of migrating raptors and to analyze and disseminate this information.
Hawks usually migrate over a broad front; however they can be concentrated by land forms such as the peninsula that creates the southern tip of New Jersey. Raptors passing through this area during the autumn migration hesitate to cross the Delaware Bay, slowing their progress and often resulting in large concentrations of birds of prey.
We conduct field operations at several raptor banding stations located at Cape May Point every autumn. Hawks are captured, banded with United States Geological Survey (USGS) bands and released unharmed. An extensive set of measurements are taken on selected species. Since the project began in 1967, over 139,000 raptors have been banded. Since 1974, we have banded between 2000 and 6000 each season.
Our banding records are collected by the U.S.G.S. Bird Banding Laboratory and can be made available for appropriate research projects. We also cooperate with fellow researchers by sharing data directly, making in-hand raptors available for related studies and by providing internships for field research technicians.