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Celebrating 40 years of birds and birders at Cape May

Editor Chuck Hagner, Chip Bauer, Publisher Lee Mergner, and Mike Echevarria of BirdWatching Magazine at the Cape May Autumn Birding Festival, Cape May, New Jersey, October 2016.
Editor Chuck Hagner, Chip Bauer, Publisher Lee Mergner, and Mike Echevarria of BirdWatching Magazine at the Cape May Autumn Birding Festival, Cape May, New Jersey, October 2016.

What a great time we had this weekend!

BirdWatching Editor Chuck Hagner, Publisher Lee Mergner, and Media Solutions Manager Mike Echevarria were all at the Cape May Autumn Birding Festival in beautiful Cape May, New Jersey, from Thursday to Sunday. You can see the whole gang, including birding specialist Chip Bauer, in the photo above.

The festival was extra special this year because both the Cape May Hawkwatch and the Cape May Bird Observatory were celebrating their 40th anniversaries. We loved every minute. Not only did we enjoy chatting with the many writers, photographers, readers, and future readers who stopped by our table in the Exhibit Hall, but we also had fun hosting a hospitality room for our fellow vendors.

Pete Dunne's article about Cape May.
“Forty Years and Counting,” by Pete Dunne, BirdWatching Magazine, October 2016.

Even better, artist and author David Sibley, writer of our regular column ID Toolkit, was the keynote speaker on Saturday, his birthday. David’s topic was the psychology of bird identification (and mis-identification). It was fascinating.

The night before, it was Pete Dunne’s turn on stage. Pete is the longtime director of the Cape May Bird Observatory and the first official counter at the hawkwatch. He was one of eight legendary hawk watchers who took part in an animated panel discussion about hawk watching that was humorous and informative and moving, too. Leica’s Jeff Bouton led the discussion. We were happy to be there.

Pete’s writings about birds and birdwatching have appeared in BirdWatching for almost 30 of the observatory’s 40 years. His column “Birder at Large” runs in every issue, but for our October 2016 issue, on newsstands now, he also turned in a special treat — a full-length feature article.

In it, he describes not only the humble origins of the hawkwatch but also its long-term importance, and he tells a sly story or two about Bill Clark, Maurice Broun, and other well-known birders, including David Sibley. The article is the centerpiece of our issue, and now you can read it online. Don’t miss it!

Read Pete Dunne’s account of the Cape May Hawkwatch.

Read an article by Pete Dunne about autumn birding in Cape May.

Tips from Pete for identifying hawks in flight.

Five reasons to pick up the October issue of BirdWatching.

 

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