Join us in Cape May in 2016!
Sunday October 16th to Thursday October 20th, 2016
Cape May, New Jersey, USA
Abstracts and symposia for the conference are due on the 2nd of May 2016
Dear Raptor Researcher,
As the Director of New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory and co-Chair of the RRF Local Committee, I am excited to invite you to the 2016 Raptor Research Foundation annual conference. This coming fall is full of anniversaries, not the least of which is the 50th anniversary of the RRF. That’s fifty years of raptor research and conservation, ensuring we have many things to celebrate while you’re here!
If you like raptors, as I assume you do, you’re going to love the 2016 Raptor Research Foundation conference in Cape May, New Jersey, which sits at one of the most important autumn migration concentration points for raptors, songbirds and waterbirds. Best of all, you will be here at the peak period for raptor migration so we’re planning many opportunities to get you outside as well as putting together a phenomenal program of workshops, presentations and plenary talks. This year we will feature three plenary lectures by leaders in the field of raptor research and conservation: migration authority Ian Newton, trailblazing raptor ecologist Carol McIntyre, and master of Middle-East raptor conservation, Yossi Leshem.
This is also an anniversary year for the Cape May Hawkwatch and Cape May Bird Observatory. Forty years ago raptor researcher Bill Clark voiced the need for a bird observatory in Cape May, a place where he and his crew had been banding migrating raptors for nearly ten years prior. In that year Pete Dunne was hired by New Jersey Audubon to count the inaugural Cape May Hawkwatch and a bird observatory was born. Forty years later, we celebrate our anniversary alongside the Raptor Research Foundation and our third event co-sponsor, the Cape May Raptor Banding Project. Each fall since 1966 the Cape May Raptor Banding Project has run a multi-station banding operation just a couple of miles from conference headquarters. This unique feature means RRF participants will have exceptional field opportunities on subjects including banding station design and operation, best-practices in banding and marking raptors, and attaching transmitters for long-term tracking research.
Cape May is a tourist destination throughout the summer months, but by late October, Cape May belongs to the birders. Beautiful beaches teeming with life: parasitic jaegers, raptors of the open ocean, strafing clouds of terns; the fluke of a humpback whale, pods of inshore bottlenose dolphins, and the less hydrophobic raptors hunting the troughs of waves: Peregrines and Merlins over water, while American Kestrels whiz through the dunes along the shoreline. Late October is also the best time for Golden Eagle movement through Cape May, and no doubt symposium at the RRF meeting will pair nicely with live views of goldens overhead throughout the week.
We’re pretty sure you’ll find yourself not wanting to leave Cape May as the conference comes to a close on Thursday, so plan to stay for the Cape May Fall Festival immediately following the RRF meeting, from October 20 – 23. Extend your visit and increase your raptor experience of a lifetime; besides, 40 and 50-year anniversaries only happen once in a lifetime!
So mark your calendars now, and check back as we update this page to reflect registration opening and pertinent announcements.
On behalf of my co-chair, Lillian Armstrong, and the Cape May birding community, please know we can hardly wait to see you this fall!
Until Raptor Season,
David La Puma
CO-Chair RRF Local Committee