To learn more about winter birding, the Southern Ocean Birding Group will host the 10th annual Wings Over Long Beach Island Day on Saturday, March 16, beginning at 11 a.m. at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences. The indoor-outdoor program is held in partnership with the Foundation, the Friends of the Barnegat Lighthouse and the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce.
Sue Puder, founder/president of the birding group, said according to William J. Boyle, author of A Guide to Bird Finding in New Jersey, Barnegat Inlet is one of the best places to look for such species as the northern gannet, common and king eiders, harlequin duck and black-legged kittiwake. Other possible species that can be viewed are the red-breasted merganser, scoter, purple sandpiper, long-tailed duck, snow bunting, horned lark, Ipswich sparrow, red-throated grebe and common goldeneye.
At 11 a.m., the birding group will host a talk on “Birding the Pine Barrens” at the Foundation as part of the Loveladies organization’s Science Saturday program. There is a $5 fee for Foundation nonmembers. Puder, who is author of New Jersey Birds and Beyond, will discuss the best birding hotspots in the Pine Barrens, including species that can be seen and the best locations for finding elusive songbirds, raptors and waterfowl.
At 1 p.m. at the visitors center, Pete Bacinski will present “The World of Birds Around Us in New Jersey”, presented by Pete Bacinski. A program designed for the whole family features backyard birds and those you can find here in New Jersey. Discussed are all the benefits of birding, such as getting outdoors, making lifelong friends, and traveling to wonderful locations to see our feathered friends, as well as the challenges of the avocation, identifying all those birds.
The presenter has been associated with N.J. Audubon for almost five decades, as a volunteer, associate naturalist, and field trip and workshop leader. He established and directed the Sandy Hook Bird Observatory for the N.J. Audubon from 2001 to 2011 and directed the All Things Birds program for North Jersey for NJA from 2011 to 2015. Now, even though he has retired, he still helps to lead trips around the state for All Things Birds.
Throughout the day at the park, birding group members will be stationed along the concrete jetty with binoculars and telescopes to help people locate birds and will be on hand to answer questions.
In addition, bird viewing will be available on the elevated platform at the Foundation, which overlooks some of the last natural marshes remaining on Long Beach Island.
The birding group meets on the first Thursday of each month at the Hunting Shanty at Tuckerton Seaport at 6:30 p.m. The next meeting will be March 7.
For more information, log onto southernoceanbirdinggroup.org.