LEICA Cape May Bird Observatory American Dippers

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The mission of New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory is to connect people to nature, and steward the nature of today for the people of tomorrow. 34 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 2017 team is new again, but our goal is the same: raise as much money for bird conservation as possible between now and March…and, of course, see as many species of bird as possible during the race!

Cape May Bird Observatory’s American Dippers are proudly supported by Leica Sport Optics. With this group, the excellent optics provided by Leica, and a little luck, we hope to be contenders for gold in March 2017.

Leica_RGBRemember, this year every dollar raised goes directly to Doğa Derneği’s (Birdlife in Turkey) efforts to halt the slaughter of birds in Turkey, so please give today – and be a Champion too!

Good Birding,
David A. La Puma

Director, Cape May Bird Observatory

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David La Puma

David La Puma

David La Puma is the director of New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory. Over the last 16 years David has conducted research on endangered species management of the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow, fire ecology of the Florida Everglades, the use of radar to quantify stopover habitat for migratory birds, and the use of long-term datasets to detect meaningful change in wildlife populations. As director of CMBO, David is responsible for keeping his finger on the pulse of migration at one of the world’s most important migration concentration points, with long-term monitoring of raptor, waterbird, songbirds and butterfly migration engrained in the DNA of the observatory. Equally important are the observatories efforts to develop this data into resources that can be used to connect people to nature and direct conservation efforts to protect wildlife and their habitats for generations to come.

No stranger to bird races, David has competed in New Jersey Audubon’s World Series of Birding on and off since 2005, winning the Swarovski Carbon Footprint Cup with fellow COTF teammate Michael Lanzone in 2016. David’s team also won and set a new competition record for the Sax-Zim Bog BRRRRdathon in 2013 (dubbed the “world’s coldest bird race”, taking place in January in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin) and competed for multiple years in the Great Wisconsin Birdathon. David is excited to be participating in Champions of the Flyway because the event both raises the profile for globally important conservation, and raises real funds which go directly towards that goal; two ingredients crucial for successful conservation!

Jen Brumfield

Jen Brumfield

Jen Brumfield combines her passions for extreme birding, field studies, outdoor education and detailed scientific illustration into a truly “wild” career. Her illustrations have appeared widely in birding journals and magazines, and she has written and illustrated six field guides in The Fascinated Naturalist Guides series. Her over-the-top enthusiasm and passion for studying the natural world is rivaled only by her knack for portraying it through her artwork and interpreting it to others through natural history education programs as a Naturalist for 10 years with Cleveland Metroparks.

Currently residing in Cleveland, Ohio, she spreads the joy of urban and local patch birding, and runs thrilling boat trips on the open waters of Lake Erie seeking rarities left and right. A veteran of big days and big years, Jen has participated in the World Series of Birding, the Great Texas Birding Classic, the Montezuma Muckrace, and two back to back excruciatingly intense and record-setting big years in her home county. JB is a rarity-finding machine and is forever obsessed with hawk watching and sea watching. Admiration and respect for birds runs deep through her blood. She is honored and humbled to take a stand for bird conservation and education with her every last breath.

Tom Reed

Tom Reed

Tom Reed grew up in Cape May County, New Jersey, where he picked up birding at a young age. Helped along by immeasurable support from his family, Tom spent much of his youth with binoculars in hand, sharpening field skills at one of the world’s greatest birding meccas with guidance from some of America’s finest birders. This solid foundation spurred Tom’s intense passion for bird study, particularly visible migration and trends in status & distribution.

TR completed his undergraduate work at Rutgers University in 2011 and has since traveled through much of North America, with assignments ranging from Piping Plover surveys in the Bahamas, to migration monitoring at Whitefish Point, to breeding bird atlas work in Wisconsin. He is a Regional Editor for the journal North American Birds, a two-term member of the New Jersey Bird Records Committee, an appointee to the Hawk Migration Association of North America’s Board of Directors, and recently joined the guide staff of Wildside Nature Tours. Tom’s involvement with NJ Audubon’s World Series of Birding began in 2000, and he has participated in the event 16 times. Since 2014 he has been a member of the SPNI Champions of the Flyway team, joining some of Israel’s best to participate in the Cape May County division of the WSB.

Tom still calls Cape May home, where he is one of the area’s most in-demand birding guides and spends part of the year as Migration Count Coordinator for the Cape May Bird Observatory, directing data collection & analysis at multiple monitoring projects. TR is very excited to make his second visit to Israel and COTF, but is equally eager to play a role in combating the illegal take of migratory birds in Turkey. Fans of the American Dippers are hopefully just as passionate about this cause. Please show your support and pledge the efforts of Tom and the Dippers!

Michael Lanzone

Michael Lanzone

Michael Lanzone started birding when he was eight years old. He went on to become a field ornithologist working for various state, federal, and private organizations across the United States and Mexico. In 2003, he became the Assistant Coordinator for the 2nd Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas and the Biotechnology and Biomonitoring Lab Supervisor stationed at Powdermill Nature Reserve, the biological research station of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While at Powdermill he studied nocturnal bird migration and flight calls, Golden Eagle movement ecology, and assisted with the Powdermill Bird Banding program, among other things.

In 2011 he was awarded the Conservation Award from the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology for the research on eastern Golden Eagles and in 2013 The Research Management and Partnership Award from the US Department of Agriculture. Mike has served on the Board of Directors for many different NGOs, served on the Pennsylvania Ornithological Records Committee and was the president for Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology. Currently, Mike lives in Cape May, NJ with his wife and two daughters and is the Chief Executive Officer of Cellular Tracking Technologies in Rio Grande, New Jersey where he works with researchers around the world to develop remote tracking solutions for birds and other wildlife.

Conservation has always been at the forefront of Michael’s life, whether developing cutting edge technology to reduce mortality of migratory species, founding non-profit organization to protect important stopover habitat from development, or competing in bird races to raise money crucial to the protection of birds worldwide. This is what excites Michael most about joining Champions of the Flyway with the Leica Cape May Bird Observatory American Dippers!

Richard Crossley

Richard Crossley

Richard Crossley is an internationally acclaimed birder, photographer and award-winning author of ‘The Crossley ID Guide’ series. Richard is also co-founder of the global birding initiative Pledge to Fledge (www.pledgetofledge.org ), Race4Birds (www.race4birds.org) and The Cape May Young Birders Club. He has contributed to most major birding publications, is frequently heard on radio, and is a highly sought-after public speaker. He served on the board of directors at the famous Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. When recently asked why he takes on so many projects, his answer, “it beats working” sums up his passion for everything outdoors.

Going back to Israel after my first visit, three decades ago, will be a lot of fun; however, it is the strong conservation impact of Champions of the Flyway that is most important. This year’s effort will be focused on halting the senseless slaughter of birds in Turkey, so please help us by supporting the cause in any manner you can. Thanks!

 
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