Editorial: South Jersey’s famous shorebird invasion worth restoring

Red knot

PRESS OF ATLANTIC CITY – Soon after the founding of the United States, the father of American ornithology, Alexander Wilson, was studying its birds in South Jersey. He was the first to describe 26 of the new nation’s avian species and he named one, the Cape May Warbler, for what has been a birding capital ever since.

Cape May’s global reputation is based on the very wide range of bird species found in the area over the years, and on two natural phenomena of global significance.

One is its famous fall hawk migration, with tens of thousands of raptors concentrating at the peninsula’s tip as they head south. The other was its annual spring invasion of more than 100,000 shorebirds on its Delaware Bay beaches — until people killed most of the horseshoe crabs whose eggs fed the birds …

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