New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory fits into the Champions of the Flyway as naturally as a Steppe Buzzard rises on thermals over the Negev Desert. CMBO’s mission is to connect people to nature, and steward the nature of today for the people of tomorrow. Thirty Three years ago, we began the World Series of Birding, and have raised over nine million dollars for conservation around the world since.
Participating in Champions of the Flyway allows us another opportunity to have a meaningful impact in bird conservation abroad. Our 2018 team is new, but our goal is the same as ever: to raise as much money for bird conservation as possible between now and March (and, if we get to experience a ton of the species of birds that we’re trying to protect, then all the better!).
This year the Dippers are a streamlined roster of three representatives. Returning for his third race in four years is Brooklyn, New York’s very own Doug Gochfeld. Doug has extensive experience working for both Cape May Bird Observatory and the hosts of the flyway, The International Birding and Research Center in Eilat, and has one victorious COTF race under his belt, so we know he’s going to be a critical part of the strategic plan leading up to and during the event.
The steadfast Tom Reed is returning for his third consecutive race. Tom was born on Cape May big days (24-hour bird races) and will bring incomparable experience in route planning and execution, in addition to his razor sharp birding skills. While his eyes and ears are finely tuned to every chip and seep note, his mind is always aware of his own status and distribution on the route during game day.
New to the team this year is Jacob Drucker. His supernatural birding senses are not just the product of growing up in New York City’s world class community of naturalists and a fall season as an educator in Cape May, but also thanks to his years conducting fieldwork across North America, the Neotropics, and China. A veteran of the World Series of Birding and countless other big days, he is the perfect weapon for completing this year’s squad.
Cape May Bird Observatory’s American Dippers are once again proud to partner with Leica Sport Optics, the official team optics sponsor. With this group, the excellent optics provided by Leica, and a little luck, we’ll be contenders for gold in March 2018
Again, we are grateful for any support you can pledge to our team. We’re of course excited for race day, but the critically important part of this race is the support from our partners near and far, including you- the real goal is to make this planet as safe as possible for our feathered friends
Remember, every dollar raised goes directly to BirdLife International’s efforts to halt the slaughter of birds in Serbia and Croatia, so please give today – and be a Champion too!
David A. La Puma
Director, Cape May Bird Observatory