Fun at the CAPE MAYgration Shorebird and Horseshoe Crab Festival

Gail and Ferd in Cape May 2013

Gail and I just got back from a really fun trip to Cape May, NJ. It is a birding paradise!

Cape Maygration poster

We went specifically for this event, to see the spectacle of horseshoe crabs as they come out to spawn, which coincides with the arrival of hundreds of thousands of shorebirds during their northern spring migration. The birds will travel thousands of miles. They stop here to refuel before continuing their trip north, some into Canada. More info here.

We became aware of Cape May through our friend and naturalist extraordinaire, Mark Garland. We had run into him several times at birding trips in the New River Gorge area of West Virginia. He suggested we visit him in his natural habitat some day, and we took him up on it!

Here is a short little video with Mark explaining a bit about the phenomenon:

And here are a few random pics.

Horseshoe crabs:

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A variety of shorebirds, eating the horseshoe crab eggs:

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Some horseshoe crabs end up on their backs:

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Mark shows us a tiny little horseshoe crab egg stuck to a bit of seaweed:

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Ferd flips a crab back onto its feet, while a crab friend gives the evil eye!

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A male crab attaches itself to the back of a female, doing it crabby-style!

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This was fun, friendly, educational, spectacular, and all on a beautiful day! Memorable! Thanks, Mark!

I’ll post pictures of some of our other sightings in the next few posts. 🙂

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