Posted by: Drew | June 19, 2009


The New Jersey Audubon Society Cape May Bird Observatory offers several bird and nature cruises each week. “A boat is the key to the natural kingdom of our bays and marshes,” says Don Freiday of New Jersey Audubon Society’s Cape May Bird Observatory.  “If you don’t own one, come sail with us.” Binoculars are available on loan on all the boat trips (supplies limited).

BACK BAY BIRDING BY BOAT aboard the Osprey

Every Sunday through September 6

Every Monday through October 19

10:00 a.m. departure

To register, please call Cape May Boat Tours, LLC at (609) 898-3500.

Join Captain David Githens aboard his stable, roomy pontoon boat, The Osprey, for looks at secretive rails, nesting Ospreys, migrant shorebirds, nesting terns, gulls, herons, and more.  Boat leaves from the Miss Chris Marina, 2nd Avenue and Wilson Drive, in Cape May (plenty of free parking).  The Monday trips in July and August sail to Hereford Inlet. Cruise past landmarks such as Champagne Island, home of NJ’s largest Black Skimmer colony and only Royal Tern colony. If permitted, passengers may go ashore to observe. Explore the ‘other side’ of Nummy Island and remote Grassy Sound for nesters and fall migrants. More information, detailed directions, and online reservations at Cost: $35 nonmembers; $25 members


Saturday, August 15

5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. A special 3 hour sunset cruise

To register please call Cape May Bird Observatory 609-861-0700.

Need an excuse to come to the shore? Join the Osprey and CMBO leaders for a sunset cruise at the peak of the shorebird migration. This trip is timed with the outgoing tide when acres of mudflats become exposed.  In mid-August the coast is awash with southbound migrants and the salt marsh is the place to be. Peaceful evening waters provide the back drop as you enjoy the best light of the day. Also expect great sightings of resident species such as oystercatchers, herons and egrets, gulls, terns, and perhaps secretive Clapper Rails. Cost:  $35 members, $45 nonmembers

SUNSET CRUISE from Somers Point aboard the Duke O’Fluke

Every Tuesday

6:00 p.m. departure

To register please call Cape May Bird Observatory  609-861-0700.

Our newest cruise, a two hour sunset tour of the rich islands, marshes and waterways behind Ocean City, Longport and Margate aboard the Duke O’Fluke. This cruise, guided by CMBO’s expert naturalists, sails from Somers Point every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. Call Cape May Bird Observatory at (609) 861-0700 for more information or to pre-register (strongly recommended, and credit cards are accepted). The cost is: $25 adults and kids 13&up; $15 ages 5-12; and children under 5 free.

“On any given back bay trip, expect nesting ibis, egrets and night-herons, plus ospreys, sandpipers and plovers,” says Freiday.  “As summer progresses, we watch elegant wetland birds tending their fuzzy, down-covered babies, and learn about their ecology.”

For more information about these and other Cape May Bird Observatory programs, call (609) 861-0700, or visit  CMBO offers birding programs nearly every day of the week.


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