2017 Cape May Spring Festival

Cape May, New Jersey
Thursday, May 18, 2017
2017 Cape May Spring Festival
Thursday, May 18, 2017 5:00 PM -
Sunday, May 21, 2017 5:00 PM (Eastern Time)

Grand Hotel (May 19-21) 609-884-5611
CMBO 609-246-3581 ext 910
1045 Beach Avenue
Cape May, New Jersey 08204
United States

Map and Directions


Maybe we will soon add, "SO.MANY.POLLINATORS."!!!  
The 2017 Cape May Spring Fest has a new twist; an emphasis on wildlife habitat. Sure, we're at the center of the Atlantic Flyway, but another reason we have such an amazing variety of birds is our variety of habitats, some of which are greatly enhanced by human intervention to preserve native habitats, and remove invasive plants and replace them with native plants. And we've got the experts on the subject for this Spring Festival. 

To be sure, our traditional walks at Cape May's signature locations are all on the schedule, including Higbee Beach, The Meadows, Cox Hall Creek WMA, Rea Farm, Cape May Point State Park, Belleplain State Forest, Stone Harbor Point, and Heislerville Wildlife Management Area. With our outstanding leaders, packing your schedule with bird walks at those locations is worth the price of admission alone! 

HELPFUL INFORMATION FOR FIRST-TIME VISITORS: You will need a car to get from field trip to field trip. In most cases one hour is provided between trips, which is ample time to get from one place to another, especially on Cape Island, where you'll even have time to pick up coffee!  Belleplain State Forest is approximately 45 to 50 minutes north of Cape May. Allow approximately 1 hour 15 minutes to Heislerville WMA, and Forsythe NWR is approximately 1. 5 hours north. For more details, check out the Frequently Asked Questions tab. Click here for the CMBO maps.

And we have added so much more!  Here are just a few highlights ... 

- Our Saturday Luncheon will feature Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home.  It's the wildlife habitat gardener's Bible!  Dr. Tallamy is one of the finest speakers on any subject you will ever encounter, and he is sure to inspire you to plant for birds and pollinators. Then, be one of the lucky folks to take an exclusive Trolley trip with Dr. Tallamy and Pat Sutton to visit local wildlife gardens.  The trip ends at the Wildlife-friendly Plant Sale at the Nature Center of Cape May, and you've got the experts right there with you to help you select the right plants to transform your backyard to a wildlife delight.   

- Are you hoping for Jaegers, Gannets and some lifer sea birds? Try the overnight pelagic trip, which leaves from Utsch's Marina on Saturday night and returns on Sunday afternoon. We will have a terrific bunch of leaders on this trip. 

- Explore our beaches and witness millions of years of co-evolution between horseshoe crabs and a suite of
beach-foraging birds. On Saturday evening, choose one of our Sunset experiences. Whether walking the Meadows, scanning from Sunset Beach, or further up the Bayshore at Cooks Beach, springtime sunsets can be magical in Cape May (Cape May Sunset photo courtesy Scott Whittle).

- Join Dale Rosselet and Kevin Karlson for some personal tips based on their book Birding by Impression.

- Our Friday night keynote with Pat and Clay Sutton on "How to Spot an Owl", an entertaining and informative look at some our favorite, but most elusive, feathered friends.

So ... How many birds will you see? 

So. Many. Birds.

Amazing Photo by Phil Witt

Registration fees are $65 per day.  Or, come all three days for only $175.  There are additional costs for bus trips, special walks, and evening programs. Preregistration is required, and some events have limited capacity, so please sign up now to be sure to secure your spot for your favorite activities.

Daily registration includes admission to all regular trips, workshops, programs, and activities for that day. There are several additional activities available for an additional fee each day, and they are noted by a ($) on the website and in the agenda.

Most activities are restricted to REGISTRANTS ONLY except for the Friday Keynote*, Saturday Luncheon* and Overnight Pelagic; you can sign up just for these events even if you don't wish to register for one or more days*.

* Note that a la carte pricing is higher than registrant pricing, except for the Overnight Pelagic.

Preregistration must be received by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, May 16th. If you are unable to register by Tuesday, May 16th, you may register onsite at The Grand Hotel of Cape May beginning on Thursday May 18th, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. On Friday and Saturday, onsite registration will be open from 6:30 am to 4:00 pm.  Sunday registration will open from 6:30 am to noon.  Please call or email Deb Shaw 609-400-3836,  deb.shaw@njaudubon.org for more information about on-site registration. If you fail to register in advance, you may not be able to attend certain activities.  If you must register on-site the morning of the event, you may be late to your first activity. 

Note: LODGING is not included in registration. MEALS  are not included in registration. TRANSPORTATION is not included in registration, with the exception of trolley trips.

The Grand Hotel of Cape May is the official Hotel of the Cape May Spring Festival
. A limited number of rooms have been reserved for festival participants. Simply tell the reservationist that you are attending the Cape May Spring Festival and receive the special rate.

Act soon as rooms are limited!

For other great options, please visit our Places to Eat, Shop Stay and Play page which showcases our business members including hotels, motels, campgrounds, B&B's and rooms for rent! Whatever your budget or configuration, we've got you covered.


Contact Information

  • If you have questions, please contact Deb Shaw, deb.shaw@njaudubon.org or 609-400-3836.

Payment Instructions

  • If paying by check please make payable to NJ Audubon and send to:

    Cape May Spring Festival
    Cape May Bird Observatory
    600 Route 47 N
    Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
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