We spent a week birding near Cape May, NJ with members of the Audubon Society of Greater Denver. Cape May is recognized as a birding hotspot. The peninsula provides critical habitat for birds as they migrate through the region. This trip coincided with spawning by horseshoe crabs along Delaware Bay beaches.

Birding sites included Cape May Point State Park, The Meadows, Higbee Beach, Beaver Swamp Wildlife Management Area, Belleplain State Forest, Heislerville, Lizard Tail Preserve, Cape May Bird Observatory, Stone Harbor, and Jake’s Landing. We also made a brief stop at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge before our flights out of Philadelphia.

Below is the checklist from our trip.


Canada Goose

Mute Swan

Wood Duck


American Black Duck


Surf Scoter

Black Scoter

Red-breasted Merganser

Wild Turkey

Common Loon

Northern Gannet

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Snowy Egret

Tricolored Heron

Green Heron

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

Glossy Ibis

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture


Bald Eagle

Broad-winged Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Peregrine Falcon

Clapper Rail

American Coot

Black-bellied Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Piping Plover


American Oystercatcher

Spotted Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper

Greater Yellowlegs


Lesser Yellowlegs


Ruddy Turnstone

Red Knot


Semipalmated Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

White-rumped Sandpiper

Pectoral Sandpiper

Purple Sandpiper


Short-billed Dowitcher

Laughing Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Herring Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Least Tern

Common Tern

Forster’s Tern

Black Skimmer

Rock Pigeon

Mourning Dove

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Barred Owl – h

Chimney Swift

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Belted Kingfisher

Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker – g

Northern Flicker

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Acadian Flycatcher

Eastern Phoebe

Great Crested Flycatcher

Eastern Kingbird

White-eyed Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo

Blue Jay

American Crow

Fish Crow

Purple Martin

Tree Swallow

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Barn Swallow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch

Carolina Wren

House Wren

Marsh Wren

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Eastern Bluebird

Swainson’s Thrush – g

Wood Thrush

American Robin

Gray Catbird

Northern Mockingbird

Brown Thrasher

European Starling

Cedar Waxwing

Northern Parula

Yellow Warbler

Cape May Warbler – h

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler – h

Yellow-throated Warbler

Pine Warbler

Prairie Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

American Redstart

Prothonotary Warbler – h

Worm-eating Warbler


Common Yellowthroat

Yellow-breasted Chat

Summer Tanager – g

Scarlet Tanager

Chipping Sparrow

Field Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Saltmarsh Sparrow

Seaside Sparrow

Song Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Northern Cardinal

Blue Grosbeak

Indigo Bunting

Red-winged Blackbird

Eastern Meadowlark

Common Grackle

Boat-tailed Grackle

Brown-headed Cowbird

Orchard Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

House Finch

American Goldfinch

House Sparrow

Number of species: 141

G=seen only by guide

H = heard, not seen

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