Free Lecture Series Continues Feb. 12 With Birders Pat and Clay Sutton

first_imgBIOGRAPHIES:Clay and Pat Sutton are a husband and wife team of naturalists and writers whose careers and names are synonymous with their home town of Cape May, New Jersey, a place that has been aptly called the migration capitol of North America.  This migratory crossroads is famous for its hawk, owl, songbird, shorebird, and Monarch butterfly migration.  They have keenly studied the natural world for over 30 years.  Pat Sutton was for 21 years the Program Director at the New Jersey Audubon Society’s Cape May Bird Observatory (1986 to 2007).  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.  Pat is an Honorary Director of Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes and a Team Member of Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens, where you can find her post the 18th of each month.Clay is a life-long resident of Cape May, where he has worked as an environmental planner, environmental program administrator, vice-president of an environmental consulting firm specializing in threatened and endangered species, and for the past decade as a self-employed environmental consultant, naturalist and field biologist.  Migration in all its forms remains his captivating interest.Clay and Pat today are free-lance writers, photographers, naturalists, lecturers, tour leaders, and were long-time instructors for the American Birding Association’s Institute for Field Ornithology.  Clay is a co-author, with Pete Dunne and David Sibley, of the classic Hawks in Flight (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1988; 2nd Edition August 2012), and Clay and Pat together have co-authored How to Spot Butterflies (1999), How to Spot Hawks & Eagles (1996), and How to Spot an Owl (1994), all published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.Articles and photography by Pat & Clay have appeared in New Jersey Audubon, Peregrine Observer, New Jersey Outdoors, Sanctuary, American Butterflies, Wild Bird, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Birder’s World, Birding, Living Bird, Defenders, and others. Their latest book, Birds and Birding at Cape May (Stackpole Books, 2006), is the in-depth result of their efforts over many years documenting and protecting the migration and the Cape May area that they so love.  This landmark book is a complete guide to birds and birding for the Cape May region, covering what to see, when, where, and how to go, as well as the storied ornithological history of the Cape.  For more information go to Pat and Clay’s website:— News release from the Ocean City Environmental Commission Snowy egret photographed by Clay and Pat Sutton Ocean City’s Environmental Lecture Series will continue 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12 in the Ocean City Free Public Library’s Chris Maloney Lecture Hall with a presentation by Cape May birders Clay and Pat Sutton.center_img PROGRAM INFO:“Birds and Birding in Cape May County” is a program based on the Suttons’ landmark book, Birds and Birding at Cape May, (Stackpole Books, 2006, 568 pages) and is the in-depth result of their efforts over many years documenting and protecting the migration and the hometown that they so love. Their program will share the storied history of birds and birding in Cape May County – a place where bird studies in the Americas in part began.Cape May County’s ornithological history is unparalleled in North America, and over the years such titans as Alexander Wilson, John James Audubon, Witmer Stone, Edwin Way Teale, and Roger Tory Peterson have all worked and studied at Cape May. Clay and Pat will share the rich history of Cape May birding – from these early days until the emergent exciting discoveries of today.  Expect a walk through time as they share images over the past 30 years and earlier, a journey that offers a unique perspective of both “Old Cape May” and the opportunities available today.Cape May County, at the southern tip of New Jersey, is one of the most famous and most visited birdwatching destinations in all of North America, visited by over 100,000 birders annually. It can be counted among the top birding areas and attractions in the world. Cape May’s fame as a birding Mecca is based on a unique combination of factors — its location and geography; the diversity, quality, and extent of the natural habitats found there; and the many protected natural areas available to birds and birders. Cape May is a major migratory bottleneck, “the neck of an hourglass,” where birds are funneled to the tip of the Cape May peninsula. Here, birders enjoy numbers and a variety of birds found at few other places.  Over 444 species of birds have been found in the Cape May region.  The program covers “Greater Cape May” — north up the Atlantic Coast to places like Forsythe NWR and Barnegat, and west up the incomparable rural Delaware Bayshore into Cumberland County and beyond.Expect a walk through the seasons, detailing major phenomena like the autumn raptor migration, the internationally-known spring shorebird gatherings, as well as the waterfowl, seabird, wader, owl, and songbird possibilities throughout the changing seasons.Clay and Pat Sutton are veteran naturalists who have lived and worked at Cape May throughout their entire careers. They will share their insiders’ understanding of all that makes Cape May great. “Birds and Birding at Cape May” is the migration story both explained and brought alive by first-hand knowledge, lively anecdotes, and stories of both yesteryear, today, and the bright future.last_img read more