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February eBirder of the Month Challenge

LeConte's Sparrow © 2016 Mike Pasquarello

This month’s eBirder of the month challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, focuses on the mobile world. As of December 2015, eBird Mobile is available for FREE on both iOS and Android devices. eBird Mobile makes in-the-field data entry just a few taps away, no matter where you are in the world. Increased use of mobile provides greatly improved accuracy in counting, precise location selection, and overall birding effort information. And, no more data entry when you get home at the end of the day! The eBirder of the month will be drawn from eBirders who submit at least 15 complete no-X checklists using eBird Mobile in February. Winners will be notified by the 10th of the following month.

A spectacle of migration

Red Knots in flight © Mike Crewe

Cape May, New Jersey, is known worldwide for the spectacle of migration evident there each autumn. But once you consider the greater Cape May region, the spectacle of migration spans the entire year, and spring boasts one of the most impressive assortments of birds both in terms of numbers and diversity. May in Cape May is about shorebirds, it’s about southern breeding warblers, and it’s about the sheer spectacle of migration! Two main events beckon you to visit. Read on to find out what’s going on and why you should put Cape May on your May calendar right away!

Birds of Linden’s Hawk Rise Sanctuary

View of the Hawk Rise forest and boardwalk trail (photo by Kristin Mylecraine).

Birds of Linden’s Hawk Rise Sanctuary by Kristin Mylecraine and Michael Allen, New Jersey Audubon Overview The Hawk Rise Sanctuary is a green oasis within the densely-populated Arthur Kill watershed in Linden, NJ. It has been open to the public since 2012, bringing scenic walking trails and great bird-watching opportunities to a natural area once […]

The Birds of Rutgers Newark

View of the 0.15 acre “Aidekman’s Wood” in the fall: time to look for those warblers. October 2013. Photo by author.

Claus Holzapfel of Rutgers University has written an article about the birds of Rutgers Univeristy-Newark Campus. In it, he details the creation of urban biodiversity patches, ongoing avian research (banding studies and attempts to reduce bird strikes on windows), and how and when to bird the campus.

Identifying Backyard Accipiters

This juvenile Cooper's Hawk shows several field characters detailed in the article that separate it from Sharp-shinned Hawk (photo from NJA archives).

“For as long as I have been a birder people have been posing the question: Is it a Sharp-shinned Hawk or a Coopers Hawk? These two bird catching Accipiters are perennial patrons of backyard bird feeding stations, drawn not to the seed but the seed-eating birds you have concentrated there.”

In this piece New Jersey Audubon’s Ambassador of Birding, Pete Dunne, gives you the shinny on Accipiter ID in this timely dispatch from a winter backyard near you.

What was that distance again? Increase your accuracy for traveling eBird checklists

Estimating accurate distances for traveling eBird checklists is more accurate and much easier with a little help from Google Maps

eBird allows you to enter your checklists as traveling, stationary, historical, or incidental. These classifications allow analysts to extract the best possible information from the eBird data submitted, so birders using eBird should be aware of best practices when setting out on their day of birding. In this piece we’ll look at traveling counts.

How To Find And Identify Barn Owl in NJ

Barn Owl by Tony Hisgett

While it could be argued that southwestern New Jersey, with its abundant marshes and farmland is the Barn Owl capital of the the state; northeastern New Jersey is the easiest place to find one. In this article NJ eBird reviewer Mike Britt provides a comprehensive look at the status of Barn Owl in New Jersey, with some great tips on where you too can find your own ghostly treasure in the Garden State.

Birding Glenhurst Meadows (Warren, Somerset County)

Glenhurst has developed a reputation as a reliable site for the ever-shy Connecticut Warbler in autumn (photo by Mike Newlon).

Glenhurst Meadows is one of the most productive birding locations in northern Somerset County. Its habitat is a mix of successional field, wet meadow, brooks, ­river and woods. The plethora of sparrows that visit in the autumn built Glenhurst’s reputation but it is an enjoyable location for a variety of species the entire year. eBird reviewer Jonathan Klizas takes us to the heart of Glenhurst in this wonderful visual presentation chockfull of birding info.

Finderne Wetlands Birding

View from the trailhead, Finderne Wetlands (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

In 1699, the Van Veghten family had little indication that their farm property would become an interesting location for the study of nature three centuries later. Their 18th century Dutch farmhouse, now the headquarters of the Somerset County Historical Society, continues to watch over the floodplain of the Raritan River in Bridgewater Township. In 2000, the Army Corps of Engineers began collaboration with the state of New Jersey on the project known as the Finderne Wetlands Mitigation Project. In this article, eBird reviewer and blogger Jonathan Klizas takes us on a journey to this area rich in birding potential.

Confirmed Breeding of Common Nighthawk in Bayonne, NJ

Female on nest. Photo taken 6/30/13 by Mike Britt.

eBird reviewer Mike Britt recounts the discovery of breeding Common Nighthawks in Bayonne, New Jersey, in this epic tale that will have you wanting to climb rooftops in your own quest for Caprimulgiformes!