When: October 6-12, 2013
Where: Cape May, NJ
How Much: $645
Limit: 8 people
Instructors: Clay Sutton, Pat Sutton, & Mark Garland
For more information, email us at: email@example.com, or call at (800) 850-2473
What is an IFO?
The ABA’s Institute for Field Ornithology traces its origins back to 1983. The IFO was created as an ABA member service with the goal of offering novel opportunities for the study of birds. Our IFO programs combine field birding with an educational element to enrich your birding. They are meant to be fun and educational. Some IFOs are more field-oriented while others have more of a classroom element. Each IFO features expert and friendly instructors whose chief goals are to educate the IFO program’s participants, and help ensure that everyone enjoys a good experience. IFO programs are designed for ABA members and typically have a limit of no more than 25 participants, but often group size ranges from 8-20 people. An IFO may be based at a single location so that each night is spent in the same area, or a program may cover several separate regions, requiring the group to change lodging a couple of times. Most IFO programs are several days in length (4-7 days) but occasionally we offer single-day events too.
Utterly unique, Cape May has been dubbed the migration capitol of North America. Its beautiful beaches have long made it a popular destination among tourists, and the many Victorian buildings have netted the town status as a national historic landmark, but for birders the history of this peninsula is all the more rich.
Legendary Witmer Stone, an ornithologist at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia from 1893-1936, made the site famous when he published Bird Studies at Old Cape May in 1937 (published by the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club). Stone first visited Cape May in 1890 and right away noticed what every birder since has noticed; the place is incredible for bird migration! Its location and geography put this charming beach town in a rare position to host many thousands of birds, particularly in autumn when the young of the year and the prevailing winds concentrate birds right along the coast.
This is an insider’s view of Cape May, complete with lectures on migration, and expertise on the birding and dining too. The volume of birds moving through Cape May is impressive, as is the visible, dramatic avian and insect migration, but just as interesting is the great birder talent that the area has attracted. Front and center among the core of Cape May birders are the three expert and friendly instructors that host this ABA IFO Program.
Clay and Pat Sutton
The husband and wife team of Clay and Pat Sutton are long-time naturalists whose names are synonymous with Cape May, New Jersey, a place that has been aptly called the migration capitol of North America. Clay and Pat are free-lance writers, naturalists, lecturers, and tour leaders. Pat Sutton was for 21 years the Program Director at the New Jersey Audubon Society’s Cape May Bird Observatory. Prior to that, she was the Park Naturalist at Cape May Point State Park. Pat is a founding board member of the North American Butterfly Association.
Clay is a life-long resident of Cape May, where he has worked as an Environmental Program Administrator, Vice-President of an environmental consulting firm specializing in threatened and endangered species, and for the past 17 yea
rs as a self-employed naturalist and field biologist. He is a long-time instructor for the Institute for Field Ornithology, having taught various workshops dating back to 1989. Clay is captivated by migration in all its forms. Pat has led CMBO workshops for over two decades, and complements Clay as a co-leader. Pat’s consuming interests include owls, butterflies, and dragonflies, and she is a well-known and respected regional authority on wildlife/conservation gardening and wildscapes.
Clay and Pat have had papers published in a number of journals and proceedings, and have contributed numerous popular articles to virtually all of the popular birding magazines. Clay is a co-author, with Pete Dunne and David Sibley, of the instant classic Hawks in Flight (Houghton Mifflin, 1988 and second edition 2012), and Clay and Pat together have co-authored How to Spot an Owl, How to Spot Hawks and Eagles, and How to Spot Butterflies, all published by Houghton Mifflin.
In December, 2006, their landmark book, Birds and Birding at Cape May, was published by Stackpole Books, the in-depth result of their efforts over many years documenting and protecting the migration and the hometown that they so love.
Mark S. Garland runs his own company, Garland Cunningham LLC, organizing and running a variety of nature-oriented tours, workshops, classes, and lectures for organizations and individuals. Birds are the primary focus of most programs. Mark is based in Cape May, NJ, where he leads workshops for the Cape May Bird Observatory, field trips for the Audubon Naturalist Society, and courses for the Road Scholar program of Elderhostel. He has led over 200 tours to locations throughout the US, Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Tanzania, and other countries. He has written hundreds of articles and columns and one book, Watching Nature: A Mid-Atlantic Natural History. For fifteen years he provided nature commentaries for the Metro Connection radio program on WAMU, public radio in Washington, DC. He has twice captained winning teams in the World Series of Birding. He holds BS and MS degrees from the University of Maryland. His website is: http://www.mgnature.com
Click here for an eBird list of species seen at Cape May, in October over the last 5 years