Cape May Warbler (Dendroica tigrina)

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The Cape May Warbler (Dendroica tigrina) is a little songbird that is found in the boreal forests of Canada, as well as in the New England area. During the colder winter months, the Cape May Warbler will migrate to the West Indies. Being only 4.25 inches in size, the most preferred food of the warbler is spruce budworms. They will also feed on other small insects. This songbird is extremely active and very energetic. Males can still rely on their outer beauty, while being somewhat dull in appearance, the females have to use their charm and personality.

The male Cape May Warbler is a strikingly beautiful bird, predominantly of radiant yellow coloring, with very thin stripes of black across their chests. They will also display chestnut colored cheeks and have patches of white on their wings. Their female counterparts are dull in color and lack the patches on their wings, and the chestnut cheeks.

As mentioned before, the Cape May Warbler feeds on insects, which they will either pick off the plants or catch while in flight. What makes the anatomy of this bird species particularly interesting is its semitubular tongue. This feature is unique to the Cape May Warbler, and enables them to feed on nectar or drink berry juice during the winter months. They are also extremely territorial, and often chase other Cape May Warblers off the tree that they are feeding on.

The Cape May Warbler was first sighted and described by Alexander Wilson, in the Cape May area in New Jersey. The Cape May Warblers build their nests near the trunks of the trees, and prefer nesting in dense forests. Nests are constructed of small twigs and grass, with feathers and hair being used to line them. The females lay between six to eight eggs, and are known to lay more eggs during the times when spruce budworms are in abundance. Only the females take care of the incubation period of the eggs, which are a slightly off-white in color and speckled with gray and brown.

The Annual Cape May Autumn Weekend

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The Annual Cape May Autumn Weekend and Cape May Bird Show, is a festival of nature that should not be missed by avid bird watchers or nature lovers. It is not just your typical bird show where birds of different species are exhibited; it is an interactive and educational event that includes sea birds, wild birds and birds of prey. Birders are also able to brush up on their identification skills and get an in-depth look at raptors such as hawks, eagles and owls.

To join in on the fun, interested parties should make their way to the Annual Cape May Autumn weekend, that takes place between 26 to 28 October 2007. Of course the Cape May Bird Show is spectacular, but it is the field trips, workshops and presentations by well-known bird handlers, naturalists and authors that make this event exciting and adventurous.

The field trips that are organized by the festival include locations such as Stone Harbor Point, Cape May Point, Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge and Higbee Beach. On these spectacular trips, visitors will be able to view a total of two hundred different bird species and join seabird watching, hawk watching and migratory birds of prey expeditions. Botany Field Trips are also offered. And if raptors are your passion, then attending the presentation by Jonathan Wood, from the Raptor Project, is essential. He will be discussing various interesting facts and aspects of eagles, hawks and many others. Workshops and programs that are offered at the Annual Cape May Autumn Weekend include Birding for Beginners, Hawk Identification, Waterfowl Identification, Binocular Workshop, Seabird Identification, Spotting Scope Workshops, How to Sketch Birds, Birding Field Craft and How to Spot an Owl. A trip on the Cape May Lewes Ferry is another relaxing and entertaining way to enjoy the festival, and visitors might be lucky enough to view birds such as jaegers, gulls, gannets, scoters and loons.

Special evening programs, banquets and guest speakers have also been arranged. Many bird lovers will be thrilled to know that some of the authors and artists of the book, “Good Birders Don’t Wear White”, will also be at the festival for a book signing event that takes place on Saturday the 27th of October 2007. The Convention Hall is a treasure trove of interesting stalls and stores that give visitors the opportunity to purchase a few gifts, souvenirs, crafts, and other beautiful items. For a true autumn and bird life experience, the Annual Cape May Autumn Weekend is the place to be.