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Gulls Simplified

March 11, 2023 @ 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Join Michael O’Brien to learn the easy way to separate the four common winter gulls and practice sifting flocks of gulls for something rare. Gulls are an interesting lot; as a group they can be found on every continent around the world, yet there is a tendency for them to be, well, a little ‘samey’! In this workshop, we aim to spend time focusing on the four regular, wintering species in Cape May – Herring, Great Black-backed, Ring-billed and Bonaparte’s; in the process, we will practice “sifting flocks” for rarer gulls. Perhaps we’ll see an Iceland Gull or other unusual species, or perhaps the season’s first Laughing Gull will wend its way northward past us. As well as considering identification, we’ll also help to demystify the fancy terminology surrounding age, plumage and condition of molt, useful considerations when working through a seemingly bewildering group.

We don’t pre-set an itinerary but will explore those parts of Cape May County that regularly hold good numbers of gulls, such as Cape May Point, Cape May Harbor and the Cape May Ferry Terminal area. Final location decisions will be made by the leader, based on local knowledge and conditions at the time.


COST: $90 members, $120 nonmembers.

Interested in becoming a member? Please click on the following link to learn more or join: Become a Member today!


We bird in all weather. Be sure to check the forecast in advance and dress in layers appropriate for prevailing weather conditions. The weather in Cape May can differ considerably from nearby inland areas and may be warmer, colder, or windier so it’s best to be over prepared. We may have to bird in the rain, so please bring your rain gear.

TRANSPORTATION: Please arrive at the appointed time with a full tank of gas, as transportation to field sites is by private vehicles.  We may walk up to 1.5 miles, over generally level, sometimes muddy or sandy terrain. Some trips involve walks over jetties.

CANCELLATION: CMBO programs require a minimum number of registrants to run, five days in advance of the start of the tour but are seldom cancelled. If we do cancel, due to lack of participation, severe weather, or unforeseen circumstances, we notify all participants in advance, and all are eligible for a full credit or refund. Participants may cancel without penalty if greater than 30 days in advance. Cancellations 10 to 30 days in advance may be subject to a 25% service charge. No refunds or credits for cancellations less than ten days in advance unless due to health emergencies