For the 24th year, The Land Conservancy of New Jersey’s World Series of Birding team will participate in the Annual World Series of Birding on Saturday, May 9. Our skilled Highlands Hawks team of expert birders will identify as many species of birds as possible in a 24-hour period. In the past, top-placing teams have recorded over 200 species in the state—over 1/3 of all the species in North America!
The World Series of Birding allows us to continue our efforts to preserve critical natural lands and special places in New Jersey where mourning doves and great horned owls thrive.
The team’s account of last year’s experience offers some insight into the competition:
We went to sleep at 4:30pm on Friday in anticipation of the rigorous day ahead. Around midnight the search started at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, then we moved on to Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge. A late cold front poured rain on us before the sun rose, but the marsh birds were unfazed. We identified a number of nocturnal marsh birds calls, including least bittern, American bittern, and king rail. Despite the rain and cold, we counted 25 species of warblers, and all of the vireos, too.
A broad-winged hawk dive-bombed a pair of red-tailed hawks in flight over the Culver Lake Causeway while we were viewing common loons. Dozens of local breeders were out, including a rare black-billed cuckoo, a hermit thrush, and a least flycatcher. As we headed out of the Kuser Bog Trail against a darkening sky, a ruffed grouse burst from a mountain laurel shrub, taking flight along the trail. It scared the heck out of the team! We laughed as we realized that the last bird of the day was a high point of the day–at High Point State Park!
The World Series of Birding is quite an adventure! Can’t wait to see what the Highland Hawks discover this year. Go ahead, help them (and The Land Conservancy) out by making a donation!