Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Autumn Weekend: Cape May Bird Observatory

The next stop on this virtual tour of Cape May's birding sites: CMBO's Northwood Center, next to Lily Lake. The center provides loads of information about sites, species and products.


In front of the wooden deck, the birdscaped garden includes seed and suet feeders, drippers and misters. While Black-capped Chickadees visited the black-oil sunflower feeder (can you see it?) and Mourning Doves and White-throated Sparrows foraged on the ground, Canada Geese honked while swimming in the lake just across the road.


A female Rose-breasted Grosbeak also visited the feeder and did her best to maintain balance on the weight-sensitive perch, her tail flicking regularly. I always think "House Sparrow on steroids" when I see a female RBGR.

Inside the center, I always marvel at the selection of optics and the great testing set-up, aimed at the garden. Consider taking advantage of this chance to compare optics side by side whenever possible.


The visit to the center also gave me a chance to momentarily reclaim the Cape Island Cup, the trophy earned in the Cape Island tournament of the World Series of Birding. For many years, the team sponsored by WildBird, Zen Zugunruhe, went uncontested in this geographic area. This year, however, a local team won the cup, depriving the Zen fellows and me of another chance to visit the C-View Inn and toast their victory. Next May, fellas!

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