“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cape May in Cape May County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Ridges, Rivers and Coastlines

Raptor Migration


— Wildlife Migration —

Ridges, Rivers and Coastlines Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 27, 2009
1. Ridges, Rivers and Coastlines Marker
Inscription.  Coastlines, rivers, and systems of mountain ridges provide geographic guides for the fall raptor migration in the northeast. This results in concentrations along certain routes and usually provides exceptional viewing opportunities in places like southern New Jersey. An average of 50,000 to 60,000 raptors pass through Cape May Point on their way to the tropics each fall.

Northeast Raptor Migration
Raptor migration occurs in the spring and fall. While the migration of these birds of prey is closely linked to seasonal changes, it is more directly related to the availability of food.

Sixteen species of raptors commonly migrate through the eastern United States. During the summer, they prey heavily on insects, song birds, rodents, and reptiles. With the onset of cold temperatures, these food sources become more scarce and the hawks are forced to migrate into more temperate climates in search of new sources. Can you think of things that might go wrong on such a long journey and what the hawks might need along the way?

Requirements for Safe Passage
Try to imagine being a raptor on a lengthy flight of 1,000 to
Marker in Cape May Point State Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 27, 2009
2. Marker in Cape May Point State Park
The Ridges, Rivers and Coastlines marker is part of the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route.
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3,000 miles, and then think about what you would need for safe passage along the way.

Hawks, warblers, fly-catchers, and thrushes require extensive forest tracts. Shorebirds require mudflats to feed and secluded sand bars and beaches to roost. Ducks, blackbirds, and wading birds need marshes – some fresh, some salt, and some brackish.

One of the greatest crises facing New Jersey is how to protect these critical areas. Destroy the habitat, and we jeopardize the existence of our birds.
Erected by State of New Jersey – Division of Parks & Forestry.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsScience & Medicine.
Location. 38° 55.965′ N, 74° 57.474′ W. Marker is in Cape May, New Jersey, in Cape May County. Marker can be reached from Lighthouse Avenue, on the left when traveling south. Marker is in Cape May Point State Park, near the viewing deck at the north end of the parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cape May Point NJ 08212, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bats on the Move (a few steps from this marker); Shorebirds Galore (within shouting distance of this marker); Flipper and Friends (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); What is it? (about
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400 feet away); Swarms of Dragonflies (about 500 feet away); Fragile Flyers (about 500 feet away); All Shapes, Sizes and Materials (about 700 feet away); Cape May Lighthouse (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cape May.
More about this marker. The right side of the marker features an outline of the state of New Jersey containing photos of various “New Jersey Birds of Prey”.
A map of the raptor migration route in the northeast appears at the bottom left of the marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 1, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 434 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 1, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.

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Oct. 24, 2021