Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Winter Birding

Advice from Paul Kerlinger on birding this month: "Just because it is cold, dreary, and January, don’t miss some wonderful birding. Dress warmly, go to the right spots, and you are likely to get great views of species you normally wouldn’t see."

January: Blizzards of birds in Cape May

It was a blizzard, but the “snowflakes” weren’t falling from the sky. Instead, they were rising up from the marsh, swirling and milling in a rough semi-circle before moving off. More than 10,000 Snow Geese had just blasted off from the salt marshes of Forsythe (formerly Brigantine) National Wildlife Refuge (near Absecon in Atlantic County). The reason for this spectacle was a single, adult Bald Eagle that had taken off from the trees a half-mile away and flew slowly toward the geese. That eagle was looking for a meal; perhaps a sick or injured goosed or even a dead one. With more than a half-million Snow Geese in South Jersey during the winter, the pickings are generally easy.

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