I had an interesting revelation the weekend of September 1st. While sitting on the hawk watch platform at Cape May Point State Park; a platform overflowing with raptor enthusiasts, I overhead a non-birding trio as they mounted the platform, who were expressing their astonishment over the number of bird watchers present.  Must be a convention or something in town,” one speculated.

No, it was just the typical, weekend in October crowd, fanned by northwest (hawk producing) winds.  That’s when it hit me, birders were in the majority.  It was non-birders who were the outsiders to this ever so popular avocation.

If you fall into the ranks of non-birders, perhaps it’s time to discover what over 70 million American’s have discovered, the excitement of bird watching.  New Jersey Audubon is your portal into this inexpensive yet engaging hobby.  There are 10,000 bird species in the world, see them all and you win a lifetime of travel.  But you can start modestly with the 400 or so species that regularly occur in New Jersey.  New Jersey Audubon field trips are calibrated to be at precisely the right locations at the right time to engage New Jersey’s wealth of bird species.  You are just in time.  Autumn migration is peaking.  Consider attending the annual Cape May, Autumn Weekend to get a head start on your New Jersey bird list.


Pete Dunne
NJ Audubon Birding Ambassador
Author Birds of Prey and coauthor Hawks in Flight