Click here for information on this image

DVOC Main Page > Birding the Delaware Valley Region > Area History
Contact Information

To suggest additional information, additional links, or to report broken links email


A chronological history of some of the area’s big birding events (1794 - 2004)

Jan. 2004
A Bohemian Waxwing has been hanging around with a flock of Robins and Starlings at Island Beach State Park, NJ. Photo on right was taken by Karl Lukens on 1/13/04.

Dec 2003 / January 2004
Allen's Hummingbirds are becoming more "common" in the area thanks to so many people who now keep their feeders up through the winter. This bird was coming into a feeder in Cape May, NJ (note band on leg) as was photographed by Karl Lukens 1/4/04

April/May 2002
A very co-operative Swainson's Warbler paid a visit to Jake's Landing Road in Cape May County, NJ. It hung around long enough to appear for the annual NJ World Series of Birding. Photo on right was taken by Jane Henderson on 5/4/02.

December 31, 2001
The Delaware Valley's first Dusky Flycatcher was found by Bert Filemyr and Bill Murphy at the Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area, New Castle County Delaware. It was still being seen through February 2002. Photo on right was taken by Karl Lukens on 1/2/02.

September 4, 2001
The Delaware Valley's first record of Pacific Golden Plover was found at Johnson Sod Farm in Cumberland County New Jersey by Richard Crossley, Michael O'Brien and Evan Obercian, where the bird was seen for almost 2 weeks. Photo on right taken by Karl Lukens on 9/4/01

June/July, 2001
A Henslow's Sparrow , now a very rare bird for this area, spent several weeks at the Willowwood Arboretum in Morris County, NJ. Photo on right was taken by Karl Lukens in July 2001.

June 8, 2001
Delaware's second record of Little Egret , in breeding plumage, was found at Bombay Hook NWR.

December 17, 2000
At Churchville Reservoir in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Adrian Binns reported 158 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. No doubt the largest single concentration observed to date in North America. Photo on right taken by Adrian Binns.

May 21, 2000
Over the Garden State Parkway, about 6 miles north of Cape May, Shawneen Finnegan spotted an adult Yellow-nosed Albatross. It was relocated 2 days later. A first record for New Jersey.

April 25, 1999
Delaware's and the Delaware Valley's first record of a Little Egret was found by Mary Gustafson and Bruce Peterjohn at the Pickering Beach entrance to Little Creek WA on this date through April 27. The bird was not seen again until Bruce and Mary found the bird in Raymond's Pool at Bombay Hook NWR on June 10, 1999. The bird was in and around Raymond Pool until at least mid-August.

June 4, 1998
A White-tailed Kite at Hidden Ranch Valley, Cape May County was New Jersey’s first accepted record. (4)

March 12, 1998
A male Common Eider was seen flying over Lake Ontelaunee, Berks County making this the first accepted record for Pennsylvania.

November 24, 1997
An Ash-throated Flycatcher, the first confirmed documented record of the species for Pennsylvania was discovered by Arlene Koch on her property south of Easton, Northampton County. It was seen through December 16th.

November 18, 1997 The first state record for Delaware of an Allen’s Hummingbird in Wilmington. It was banded on Jan 14, 1998 and stayed through February 12th.

November 6, 1997
The second North American record, and first for New Jersey of a Brown-chested Martin, a South American species, that stayed in Cape May through November 15th. (4)

October 9, 1997
New Jersey’s first accepted record of an Ani sp. was from Sandy Hook, Monmouth County. (4)

September 7, 1997
The only record of a Eurasian Collared-Dove from New Jersey was of one found by Paul Lehman at Cape May Point. (4)

May 24, 1997
New Jersey’s only accepted record of Thayer’s Gull, was of an individual that was seen at Thompson Beach, Cumberland County through May 27th. (4)

June 9, 1997
The only report of a Garganey in New Jersey occurred at Brigantine NWR, were it was seen through June 15th.

March 27, 1997
Pennsylvania’s first record of a Pink-footed Goose was found at Oley in Berks County, where is stayed until April 12th.

February 16, 1997
In Delaware waters the first documented record of Atlantic Puffin by Frank Rohrbacher.

February 4, 1997
At Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, the first state documentation of Orange-crowned Warbler. This individual stayed through March 17th.

November 23, 1997
The first report of Calliope Hummingbird in New Jersey, was of an individual that stayed at a feeder in Wildwood Crest, Cape May County through December 5th. (4)

November 12, 1997
New Jersey’s first accepted record of MacGillivray’s Warbler was of an individual that was seen in West Cape May through January 10, 1998. (4)

November 16, 1996
Bruce Peterjohn found Delaware’s first state record of Ross’s Gull at Indian River Inlet. It stayed through the 30th.

November 10, 1996
A Black-chinned Hummingbird spent 5 days at a feeder in Villas, Cape May County for a first New Jersey record. (4)

September 8, 1996
There is a report of a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper from Columbus, Burlington County on this date, although it has yet to be accepted by the NJRBC. (4)

September 5, 1996
Pennsylvania’s only accepted record of Kirtland’s Warbler in the eastern part of the state, was observed by Katrina Knight at Engleman’s Park in Berks County.

July 13, 1996
Hurricane Bertha brings sightings of 8 Black-capped Petrels , 11 Band-rumped Storm-Petrels from the shore at Cape May Point, Cape May County, New Jersey. (4)

May 10, 1996
A bird believed to be a Common Swift (Apus apus), was seen flying with Chimney swifts at Lafayette Hill, Montgomery County, by R, Ridgley, P. Ridgley and L. Bevier. The bird was accepted as an Apus species although the species was not determined definitely. (3)

April 29, 1996
A breeding plumage Pacific Loon has seen by Jason Horn at Green Lane Reservoir, Pennsylvania.

February 27, 1996
A Dovekie was found alive on a highway near Cape May Courthouse, New Jersey, 10 miles from the coast! (4)

February 11, 1996
The area’s first ‘inland’ Barrow’s Goldeneye was seen on the Delaware River at New Hope, Bucks County, where it stayed through the 21st. Possibly the same bird returned in December, but a duck hunter shot it, across the Delaware River in New Jersey.

December 20, 1995
A Varied Thrush, seen sporadically through he remainder of the winter, was found in Wilmington, a first for Delaware.

September 25, 1995
Pennsylvania’s first accepted record of a Northern Wheatear, was found by Alan Brady in Newtown, Bucks County. There was a collected specimen from near Lansdale on October 7, 1919, but it no longer exists. (3)

June 24, 1995
Delaware’s first state record of California Gull, was seen and photographed by Mary Gustafson and Bruce Peterjohn at Indian River Inlet

May 27, 1995
Two Mississippi Kites soared with three Swallow-tailed Kites over Chelsea Drive in Brecknock Township, Berks County. This sighting was unprecedented in Pennsylvania in terms of numbers and length of stay. The Mississippi’s were seen through June 6th, whereas the Swallow-tailed Kites were seen from May 2nd to June 10th. (5)

October 28, 1994
The first and only record for the Atlantic Ocean of Buller's Shearwater, was thirty-one miles east of Barnegat Light, New Jersey.

Jan 30, 1994
The first accepted record in Pennsylvania for Hoary Redpoll, was of a bird identified by R. Grubb at Perkiomenville in Montgomery County. (3)

January 8, 1994
A female Bullock’s Oriole stayed at N. Reifsnyder’s feeder through the 18th, near Blue Marsh Lake in Berks County, making this the first accepted record for Pennsylvania.

November 27, 1993
New Jersey’s only record of Ross’s Gull was an individual seen 5 miles East of Manasquan Inlet. (4)

July 19, 1993
Presumably the same Whiskered Tern that was being seen in Cape May through the 17th, was found at the Logan Tract by B.J. Rose. It stayed through August 24th.

June 30, 1993
The first North American record of Whiskered Tern, was found at Cape May, where it stayed through July 17th.

June 11, 1993
A very late report of a Lapland Longspur at South Cape May Meadows, New Jersey. (4)

April 18, 1993
Pennsylvania’s first accepted record of Anhinga was reported by Nick Pulcinella, who saw 2 males and a female soaring high overhead at Swathmore in Delaware County. (3)

December 2, 1992
A Rock Wren , the only New Jersey record, was of an individual that stayed through March 31, 1993 at Cape May Point. (4)

November 8, 1992
Pennsylvania’s first and only record of an Ancient Murrelet, was found by M. Spence at Lake Ontelaunee in Berks County.

November 7, 1992
The first New Jersey record of a Violet-green Swallow was of an individual that was seen through the 13th, at Cape May Point. (4)

April 16, 1992
Pennsylvania’s second record, and first for the eastern part of the state, a Le Conte’s Sparrow was found at Struble Lake in Chester County, where it remained until the 26th. (3)

January 2, 1992
At Lake Ontelaunee in Berks County, a Mew Gull was identified by Johnathan Heller, David Rich and Harold Morrin. This birded was seen through the 13th and was Pensylvania’s first record. (5)

September 16, 1991
86 miles East of Barnegat Inlet on a pelagic, New Jersey’s first record of a Black-capped Petrel. (4)

July 2, 1991
The first accepted record of Rufous Hummingbird in New Jersey was of an individual that was seen for 2 days in New Lisbon, Burlington County. (4)

June 10, 1991
This is the latest recorded date of a King Eider in this area, an individual at Cape May, New Jersey.

April 19, 1991
The first record for New Jersey of a Smith’s Longspur was of an individual seen for four days at South Cape May Meadows. (4)

July 13, 1990
An adult Mongolian Plover was seen in North Wildwood, Cape May County on this date. New Jersey’s only record.

December 16, 1990
The first record east of Louisiana of a Pacific-slope Flycatcher (present through December 26th), was found by J. Meloney on the southern Lancaster County CBC, in East Drumore Township. (3)

April 20, 1990
A long staying Cave Swallow , until June 4th, was seen at Cape May Point, for the first record in New Jersey. (4)

October 24, 1989
The first accepted record for New Jersey of a Black-browed Albatross was seen from the shore at Manasquan Inlet, Monmouth County. (4)

September 22, 1989
Following Hurricane Hugo, a Brown Booby was reported from Cape May Point in New Jersey.

July 25, 1989
At Shearness Pool, Bombay Hook NWR, through the 27th, Delaware’s only record of a European Golden-Plover found by Robert Hilton, William S. Clark and Daphne Gemmill.

June 4, 1989
New Jersey’s second record and first in alternate plumage of a White-winged Tern was present at South Cape May Meadows through August 25th. (4)

September 11, 1988
17 Wilson’s Warblers were seen at Higbee Beach, Cape May County, New Jersey on this date. (4)

December 23, 1987
Pennsylvania’s first record of a Green-tailed Towhee was found in Bucks County at Honey Hollow Environmental and Educational center by Bruce McNaught. Though it wasn’t seen again until Jan 6, 1988 it stayed until May 2nd.

October 9, 1987
Though they were migrants in the early 1800’s, the only modern record of Long-billed Curlew in New Jersey occurred on this date at Cape May Point, Cape May County. (4)

January 18, 1986
The first accepted record of a Townsend’s Solitaire was of one photographed by J. Pushcock along the Appalachian Trail near Lehigh River Gap on the Lehigh/ Carbon County border. (3)

November 23, 1985
The first accepted record of a White-tailed Tropicbird in New Jersey was seen at Barnegat Inlet, Ocean County. (4)

October 25, 1985
Delaware’s only record of a Sage Thrasher was reported from Bombay Hook NWR.

October 19, 1985
Delaware’s first sighting of a Fork-tailed Flycatcher near Port Mahon.

July 22, 1985
New Jersey’s first record of a Little Stint was reported from Brigantine NWR, Atlantic County. Two days later another individual became the second record.

December 9, 1984
The first record for New Jersey of an Ash-throated Flycatcher was of one seen for a month at Assunpink WMA, Monmouth County. (4)

June 12, 1984
Pennsylvania’s only state record of a Masked Duck, a male at Lake Ontelaunee in Berks County, was seen through the 14th.

May 19, 1984
Pete Dunne inaugurated the 1st World Series of Birding, held throughout the state of New Jersey.

November 7, 1983
600 Rusty Blackbirds were seen in Great Swamp, Morris County, New Jersey. (4)

May 23, 1983
New Jersey’s only record of a Red-billed Tropicbird was found oiled, in Seaside Heights, Ocean County. (4)

May 10, 1983
The first record of White-winged Tern in New Jersey was of an individual seen at the South Cape May Meadows. (4)

December 17, 1982
A Black-throated Gray Warbler which stayed through January 11, 1983 at Princeton University, Mercer County was the first winter record for New Jersey. (4)

November 21, 1982
New Jersey’s first record for Mountain Bluebird came from Brigantine NWR, Atlantic County. (4)

November 16, 1981
The only record in New Jersey of a Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatcher was one seen at Brigantine NWR, Atlantic County. (4)

May 24, 1981
At West Cape May the first record of White-winged Dove in New Jersey (4)

June 18, 1980
The first record in New Jersey of a Chestnut-collared Longspur, was of a male at Cape May Point. (4)

April 18, 1980
An offshore report on this date of a staggering 17,000 Red Phalarope about 50 miles east of Atlantic City, New Jersey. (4)

October 22, 1979
New Jersey’s first record of Brown Booby a southern species, came from Island Beach, Ocean County were 2 were seen. (4)

October 16, 1979
A Black-tailed Godwit was seen along the Darby Creek mudflats at John Heinz NWR (Tinicum) from October 16-26, 1979. The only record for Pennsylvania.

October 14, 1979
The first accepted record of Sabine’s Gull in New Jersey was seen 24 miles off Cape May. (4)

September 8, 1979
The only accepted record of Brown Noddy in New Jersey was at Cape May Point following Hurricane David. (4)

November 16, 1978
The first accepted record of Pacific Loon for New Jersey was off a bird observed through December 3rd, at Round Valley Reservoir in Hunterdon County. (4)

September 14, 1978
- New Jersey’s first accepted record of Spotted Redshank was an individual seen through September 28th at Brigantine NWR.

- The single day peak count of 21,448 Broad-winged Hawks occurred on this day at Hawk Mountain, Berks County. (5)

September 26, 1976
New Jersey’s first record of a Leconte’s Sparrow was reported from Tuckerton, Ocean County. (4)

May 29, 1976
New Jersey’s first accepted record of South Polar Skua was seen on a pelagic to Hudson Canyon. (4)

April 24, 1976
Delaware’s first record of a Garganey, was a male that stayed at Bombay Hook NWR, through May 12th.

November 6, 1975
Pennsylvania’s first record of a Rufous Hummingbird was found by J. Donatone in Devon, Chester County.

July 27, 1974
An odd summer record of a Mourning Warbler, well south of their breeding range, was found in Villanova, Delaware County, Pennsylvania

November 11, 1974
Delaware’s only record of a Gryfalcon, was seen by J. Grier Ralston, Jr., flying over Brandywine Country Club.

June 9, 1974
A Cinnamon Teal that stayed through July 1st at Brigantine NWR, was New Jersey’s first accepted record.

April 3, 1974
A female Three-toed Woodpecker, the first for Pennsylvania, was seen at Longwood Gardens in Chester County.

November 17, 1973
8 Brewer’s Blackbird’s seen in Cape May, were New Jersey’s first record. (4)

September 23, 1972
New Jersey’s only accepted record of Eurasian Kestrel was of one banded at Cape May Point on this date. (4)

August 26, 1972
22 ˝ miles south-east of Cape May, the first record of White-faced Storm-Petrel in New Jersey.

May 29, 1972
The only spring record for Buff-breasted Sandpiper in New Jersey was from West Cape May. This species is extremely rare on the East Coast in the spring. (4)

January 30, 1972
At Brigantine NWR in Atlantic County, a Ross’s Goose that stayed through April 23rd was New Jersey’s first accepted record.

December 21, 1971
A Townsend’s Warbler, the first record for New Jersey was seen through January 15, 1972 in Princeton, Mercer County. (4)

May 22, 1971
The regions first recorded Black-tailed Godwit, was a long staying individual (until September 13th) at Brigantine NWR, Atlantic County, New Jersey. (4)

November 9, 1969
On this date 10 Boreal Chickadees were reported in the Hopewell area, Mercer County. (4)

June 13, 1969
A Great Skua was reported off Avalon, Cape May County. This was a first sighting for New Jersey, but not accepted by the NJRBC. (4)

March 30, 1969
Delaware’s only record of a Fieldfare was present at Bombay Hook NWR through April 4th.

February 21, 1969
The first documented record for Delaware of an Ivory Gull at Cape Henlopen State Park, by Davis.

January 26, 1969
The area’s first recorded Tufted Duck was seen at Point Pleasant, Ocean County. It was the fourth accepted record for New Jersey.

May 23, 1968
The first record of Swainson’s Warbler in New Jersey was reported from Linwood, Atlantic County. (4)

September 24, 1966
The last record of a Bewick’s Wren in Delaware collected near Gordon Pond WMA.

March 28, 1966
The second record for New Jersey, and first in our area of a Harris’ Sparrow in Princeton, Mercer County that was seen through May 13th. (4)

February 28, 1964
Delaware’s only record of Green-tailed Towhee was a two day wonder, which was banded at Bellevue Manor, north of Wilmington.

Sept 8, 1963
A Great Snipe is found at Lily Lake, in Cape May Point by Harold Price.

March 2, 1963
First report of a Great Cormorant for Delaware was at Cape Henlopen.

February 1963
The Delmarva Ornithological Society (DOS) was formed.

November 1, 1962
New Jersey’s only accepted record of Boreal Owl occurred on this date in Bonhamtown, Middlesex County. (4)

October 13, 1962
A Bewick’s Wren was banded at Cape May Point, the second record for New Jersey. (4)

October 7, 1962
The first record of Golden-crowned Sparrow in New Jersey was of an individual seen at Cape May Point. (4)

February 3, 1962
For 7 days a Bohemian Waxwing was seen in Princeton, Mercer County, making this the first New Jersey record. (4)

October 6, 1962
A Virginia’s Warbler that was banded at Island Beach State Park, Ocean County was New Jersey’s first record. (4)

October 30, 1961
The first record of a Black-throated Sparrow in New Jersey was of an individual that frequented a feeder in New Brunswick, Middlesex County through April 23, 1962. (4)

October 28, 1961
New Jersey’s first state record of Fulvous Whistling-Duck occurred when 6 showed up at Brigantine NWR and stayed through early December. (4)

September 22, 1961
The only accepted record in New Jersey of a Cassin’s Sparrow was of an individual seen on Island Beach, Ocean County. (4)

November 28, 1959
A Little Gull at Indian River Inlet, was a first record for Delaware.

October 3, 1959
Three days after Hurricane Gracie dissipated in south-central Pennsylvania, several observers including John Alderman, Maurice Broun and Donald Heintzelman, watched a petrel circling over Hawk Mountain. Light conditions were not favorable, but a reasonably satisfactory motion picture film was obtained. The bird was initially identified as a dark morph Kermadec Petrel (P.neglecta), a south pacific species, by Dr. Robert C. Murphy. It has been debated by many seabird experts as to whether it was a Herald or Kermadec, but the AOU have listed it as a Kermadec Petrel (1998). (3)

September 20, 1959
The last area record of an Eskimo Curlew, was seen at Cape May, New Jersey by Lovett E. Williams, Jr.

September 15, 1959
A Bell’s Vireo, the first New Jersey record was seen at Island Beach, Ocean County. (4)

December 15, 1958
New Jersey’s first record of Brambling, was of an individual that stayed through the 17th at Stanton, Hunterdon County. (4)

May 4, 1958
The first record for New Jersey of Painted Bunting was of an individual male seen for two days at Cape May Point. (4)

December 13, 1957
A Boat-tailed Grackle was reported at Tinicum, Delaware County, but it is still listed as hypothetical in Pennsylvania, due to insufficient evidence to eliminate Great-tailed Grackle. (3)

September 21, 1957
Delaware’s only record of a Northern Wheatear was one seen for 2 days near Indian River Inlet.

The first documented nest of Great Egret in Pennsylvania was at Tinicum in Delaware County.

September 16, 1956
A Lark Bunting seen on this date at Cape May Point was New Jersey’s first record. (4)

May 13, 1956
Pennsylvania’s first record of a Cattle Egret was at Tinicum, Philadelphia county.

January 2, 1956
There have only been two accepted records in the United States during the 20th Century, of Eurasian Woodcock, and the second one was of a bird that was seen through January 9th at Goshen, Cape May County, New Jersey. (4)

January 1, 1956
The first report in Delaware on the Rehoboth CBC of a Black-headed Gull.

December 1, 1955
A House Finch was caught and photographed by W. Middleton in Norristown, Montgomery County. This western species, a first record for Pennsylvania came fifteen years after they were released from pet dealers in New York City. (3)

August 13, 1955
During Hurricane Connie, three Sooty Terns were spotted on Lake Ontelaunee in Berks County, Pennsylvania. (5)

January 10, 1954
New Jersey’s first record of Black-headed Grosbeak was of an individual that stayed through late-February at Rancocas Woods, Burlington County.(4)

December 19, 1953
P.B. Street reports a flock of 120 Brewer’s Blackbirds in Exton, Chester County, this being the report of this species in Pennsylvania. (3)

November 1, 1953
-The only record of Pink-footed Goose for Delaware was this individual which stayed at Bombay Hook until January 21, 1954.

-A female Black-backed Woodpecker was seen near Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania.

March 14, 1953
Delaware’s first record of a Northern Lapwing was found at Bombay Hook NWR by Price and Miller, possibly the same individual that was seen 7 days earlier, 15 miles away in New Jersey.

March 8, 1953
A Northern Lapwing North of Fortescue in Cumberland County was New Jersey’s first record.

November 15, 1952
In Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County a female Black-headed Grosbeak, identified by D.A. Cutler and H. Cutler, and seen through November 25th, was the first record for Pennsylvania. (3)

Jun 3 1952
The first record of a Golden-crowned Sparrow in Pennsylvania was captured and banded by A. Conway in Easton, Northampton County. (3)

May 25, 1952
The area’s first sighting of a Cattle Egret , was discovered on Michael McPherson’s farm in Cape May County, New Jersey. (1) They first arrived in the US from Africa in the 1940’s.

March 12, 1952
A very early Blue Grosbeak was at a feeder in Philadelphia on this date. (3)

The first nesting record for New Jersey of Boat-tailed Grackle was confirmed when 15 pairs were found in three colonies at Gandy’s Beach in Cumberland County. (4)

October 7, 1951
The area’s first Northern Wheatear , was found by Ernie Choate at Cape May Point, New Jersey where it stayed for a week.

February 24, 1951
The first Bridled Tern in New Jersey was found dead on Island Beach, Ocean County. Most records are from shore following hurricanes. (4)

November 27, 1949
New Jersey’s first record of a Sage Thrasher came from Barnegat, Ocean County. (4)

December 19, 1948
A Yellow-headed Blackbird was observed at Ardmore in Montgomery County, this being the first satisfactory record from eastern Pennsylvania.

November 21, 1948
Black-headed Gull was first recorded in New Jersey on this date. (4)

February 2, 1948
The first report of a Harris’ Sparrow in Pennsylvania came from Lancaster County, of an individual that only stayed for 2 days.

January 11, 1948
The first record of Eared Grebe in New Jersey occurred at Shark River Inlet, Monmouth County. (4)

October 13, 1945
A Clay-colored Sparrow, a Pennsylvania first, was reported by J. H. Austin at Cobb’s Creek Park in Philadelphia. (3)

September 25, 1943
The first modern record of American White Pelican in New Jersey comes from an individual seen in Beverley, Burlington County. (4)

November 22, 1942
The first specimen for Pennsylvania of a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was collected on this date at Rothsville in Lancaster County.

July 17, 1942
The second record for Pennsylvania of Western Meadowlark was seen at Villanova in Delaware County through July 27th, reported by G.H.Stuart. (3)

Pennsylvania’s first record of Great Cormorant was reported at Penn Manor in 1942.

April 28, 1940
The first record of Western Meadowlark for New Jersey occurred in South Plainfield, Middlesex County. (4)

February 3, 1940
New Jersey’s first record of an Ivory Gull, was from Island Beach, Ocean County.

May 23, 1939
Witmer Stone, a life long resident of Philadelphia and author of Bird Studies at Old Cape May, passed away at the age of 72.

January 8, 1939
A Western Grebe, the first for New Jersey was seen in Beach Haven, Ocean County.

Brigantine National Wildlife Refuge was established.

March 10, 1938
New Jersey’s first state record of a Western Tanager occurred on this date at Island Beach, Ocean Co. (4)

July 18, 1937
Seen through August 14th was New Jersey’s first record of a Bar-tailed Godwit in Absecon, Atlantic County.

Bird Studies at Old Cape May by Witmer Stone was published by the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club.

January 5, 1936
New Jersey’s first record of Barrow’s Goldeneye occurred at Keansburg, Monmouth County.

Sept 9, 1934
The first North American record of Lesser Black-backed Gull was reported by James L. Edwards and Charles Urner at Long Beach on the New Jersey coast. (1)

August 23, 1933
Upwards of 100 Leach’s Storm-Petrels were seen on Lake Ontelaunee following a severe northeast storm. (5)

November 19, 1932
After a strong storm, many Dovekies were stranded around Philadelphia and as far inland as Birdsboro and Pottstown in Berks Co and Pottstown and Schwenksville in Montgomery County, through December 3rd. (3)

October 2, 1932
The first sight record for New Jersey of two Ruff’s was from Tuckerton, Ocean Co. (4)

January 22, 1927
C. Urner saw an extraordinary total of 16 Northern Shrikes at Beach Haven, Ocean County, New Jersey on this date. (4)

November 28, 1926
The first state record of Greater White-fronted Goose in New Jersey was a bird seen on Barnegat Bay, Ocean County. (4)

August 3, 1926
>A Frigatebird sp. was sighted in Cape May, New Jersey, after a hurricane. (4)

May 30, 1923
A Gray Kingbird seen at Cape May Point was the first record for New Jersey. (4)

August 10, 1922
New Jersey’s first record of Wood Stork was seen at Cape May Point.

May 13, 1916
The earliest known record of Painted Bunting in Pennsylvania was reported for two days with Indigo Buntings in Wyncote, Montgomery County. (3)

Reports of Passenger Pigeon’s continued until 1910 in Lancaster. (The last Passenger Pigeon died in the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914).

December 28, 1907
Delaware’s first Christmas Bird Count (CBC), was conducted by Charles J. Pennock and Samuel N. Rhoades.

November 11, 1905
The first New Jersey record of Corn Crake was recorded on this date, when Walker Hand shot a specimen near Dennisville in Cape May County (1). There are 2 other records from the fall of 1854 in Salem and January 1856 in Bridgeton.

The first published record of European Starlings in Pennsylvania was a pair in Trevose, Bucks County. Starlings, a European species, were first released in New York City in 1890.

January 11, 1901
Though the first Pennsylvania record for Thick-billed Murre was in 1893, the Delaware Valley’s first report was of a bird shot on the Delaware River at Byberry in Philaldephia County. (3)

The Delaware Valley Ornithological Club publishes "Cassinia", a recording of its proceedings, local ornithological papers and migration data. (1)

December 4, 1900
A King Eider was shot near Tinicum, about a year after King Eiders were first reported in Pennsylvania, at Erie Bay.

April 7, 1900
The first Delaware Audubon Society was organized at the home of Mrs. William S. Hilles in Wilmington, for the purpose of "protection of birds and the discouraging of their use in wearing apparel and for the purposes of ornament". (2)

September 6, 1894
A Brown-headed Nuthatch, the first documented in Pennsylvania was collected by L.W. Mengel at Boyertown in Berks County. (3)

May 6, 1894
New Jersey’s first record of Long-tailed Jaeger was from 80 miles off Barnegat Inlet. (4)

October 7, 1893
The last New Jersey state record for Passenger Pigeon, was of one shot in Morristown, Morris County.

May 13, 1891
The first record for eastern Pennsylvania of a Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow, was collected from Chester County. (3)

February 3, 1890
On this date the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club (DVOC) was founded by William Bailey, George Spencer Morris, J. Harris Reed, Samuel N. Rhodes, Witmer Stone, Spencer Trotter and Charles A. Voelker. (1). It is the 3rd oldest birding club in the country after the Linnean Society in New York and the Brookline Birding Club in Boston.

In the summer of 1880, the last reported Eskimo Curlew from the Delaware Valley, was shot in Manasquan, Monmouth County, New Jersey. (4)

April 15, 1872
New Jersey’s first record of Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was a specimen obtained from Crosswicks Meadow, south of Trenton, Mercer County. (4)

By 1870, the Heath Hen was almost certainly exterminated from its known habitat, the so-called "Plains" of Ocean and Burlington Counties. (1) It was last reliably reported in Pennsylvania (Northampton County) in 1869. (3) (The last Heath Hen was recorded on Martha’s Vineyard in 1932).

A European species, the House Sparrow was introduced to Philadelphia. It had been first bought to this country in 1850 and released in Brooklyn, New York in the spring of 1851.

May 12, 1868
A male Townsend’s Warbler, a first Pennsylvania record, was collected by C.D. Wood near Brandywine in Chester County

Though no known date exists, it is believed that this was the last decade for Labrador Ducks in New Jersey waters.

December 6, 1859
The first record of Eurasian Woodcock was a specimen, which came from Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, New Jersey. (4)

July 24, 1853
2 shipments of Sky Larks were introduced in Wilmington, Delaware. These birds were subsequently noted at irregular intervals for about 2 years in Delaware and Chester Counties, Pennsylvania, and were last seen in West Chester in 1854. (2)

The last flock of Carolina Parakeets seen near Manheim, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania was reported to have been expiated by 1850.

The first systematic list of birds of Pennsylvania was published.

The Academy of Natural Sciences was founded in Philadelphia.

John James Audubon (1785-1851) arrives at Mill Grove outside of Valley Forge, where he lives for the next 2 years.

May 1794 (July 14, 1794)
Alexander Wilson (1766-1813), at the age of 28 leaves his native Scotland for Philadelphia, where he was based for the remainder of his life.

  1. Bird Studies at Old Cape May: Witmer Stone (Stackpole 2000)
  2. Birds of Delaware (University of Pittsburgh Press 2000)
  3. The Birds of Pennsylvania: Gerald McWilliams and Daniel Brauning (Cornell University Press 2000)
  4. Birds of New Jersey: Joan Walsh, Vince Elia, Rich Kane and Thomas Halliwell (New Jersey Audubon 1999)
  5. A Century of Bird Life in Berks County, Pennsylvania: William D. Ulrich (Reading Public Museum 1997)