Join Naturalist Journeys for this Cape May fall migration tour. Cape May is considered the best birding destination in North America to witness fall migration, especially for raptors. This trip is timed for the peak of land and sea birding diversity. Red-throated and Common Loon, hawks and falcons, gannets and scoters are all migrating along the eastern seaboard. Cape May’s unique location, situated on the peninsula where the Atlantic meets the Delaware Bay, make it a geographic migrant trap. Far from the metropolitan areas of northern New Jersey, the Cape May peninsula is home to farmland, forests, wetland meadows, and salt marshes. The town of Cape May is a national historic site and offers incredible examples of Victorian architecture and charm, as well as some of the most delicious seafood on the east coast.

This tour visits the Cape May Bird Observatory, Cape May Point Hawk Watch, Forsythe (formerly Brigantine) NWR, and many other fresh and saltwater habitats. There’s a reason they hold the World Series of Birding here each year! Each morning begins with optional sunrise beach walks in search of shorebirds and the beautiful Black Skimmer. Daily trips range from exploring one of the world’s best examples of tidal salt marshes to visiting one of the most successful beach restorations in the United States. We explore habitats and locations ranging from coastal beach towns to well-known natural areas and parks right along the Delaware Bay.

The Cape May Fall Birding Festival falls during the time our this fall migration tour — we register you so we can take in a bird walk or evening presentation.

Tour Highlights

  • See thousands of Sharp-shinned Hawk, hundreds of Northern Harrier, and dozens of Merlin and Peregrine Falcon at the Cape May State Park Hawk Watch Platform
  • Enjoy an afternoon at The Nature Conservancy’s Cape May Bird Refuge, one of the most successful habitat restorations on the Atlantic seaboard
  • Spot Black, Common, Roseate, Gull-billed, Arctic, and Sandwich Terns at Stone Harbor Point
  • Look for for elusive Diamond Back Terrapin, America’s only saltwater turtle, aboard a salt marsh pontoon cruise
  • Explore at the Avalon Sea Watch, one of the country’s longest-running seabird watch/counting sites
  • Cruise on the Lewes Ferry for a pelagic-birding crossing of the Delaware Bay to the state of Delaware
  • See hundreds, if not thousands of warblers and other passerines at Morning Flight, a morning watch/count of returning birds that were pushed out to sea on their evening migration

Photo credits: Banner: Black Skimmers by Carlos Sanchez; Broad-winged Hawk, Carlos Sanchez; Cape May Warbler, Carlos Sanchez; Tree Swallow, Carlos Sanchez; Sandwich Terns, Naturalist Journeys Stock; Clapper Rail, Carlos Sanchez; Red-throated Loon, Greg Smith; Double-crested Cormorant, Greg Smith.