Cape May Point State Park Professional Review and Guide
"A late-summer cold front blasts out of the northwest, and in the dark of night all across the northern U.S. and Canada, birds take flight. By September up to 12 million per evening appear on airport radar screens. They pour south on powerful tail winds in an ancient migration that still intrigues ornithologists. One great focus for the continent’s southward migration is Cape May, New Jersey. Cape May peninsula is to migrating raptors, songbirds, and butterflies what a rest stop is to tired motorists on the Garden State Parkway: a place to reconnoiter, refuel, and restore.
It is the last land a southward flyer encounters before making the challenging thirteen-mile open water crossing of Delaware Bay. The migration opens in August when a few ospreys and bald eagles appear over the point. More than 80,000 raptors—sharp-shinned and broad-winged hawks, harriers, kestrels, Merlin’s, and peregrines—glide through in a single season. More than 200 species of songbird also make the passage. Flycatchers, thrushes, vireos, and warblers wing toward the tropics. Migrating waterfowl and shorebirds add raucous cries and calls to the Cape May cacophony. Amid this tumult, the monarch butterfly passes voicelessly."