This year our team consists of CMBO Director David La Puma, Cellular Tracking Technologies CEO Michael Lanzone, and a first-time WSB participant but someone who is no stranger to birding competitions, Jason Chapman, Professor of Migration Ecology at the University of Exeter, United Kingdom. We're super excited to welcome Jason from across the pond and look forward to his keen eyes and ears on the big day!
Unlike in previous years, this year our team is contemplating a full-state run, possibly taking us from High Point, to Cape May Point over the course of 24 hours. Or maybe we will focus only on Cape Island and go head-to-head against the reigning Cape Island Cup Champs, Zen Zugunruhe, in this, their 25th year competing as a team. Whatever we decide to do, we need your help to make it all worthwhile. As you know, this game we play each May has real conservation impact at the end of the day.
The funds raised by our team make possible the important work that goes on year-round at New Jersey Audubon's Cape May Bird Observatory. This year it will help cover the costs of running our fall migration projects, like the Cape May Hawkwatch and the Avalon Seawatch. It will mean we can again offer three seasonal field naturalist internships this fall, as well as the nine-month George Myers Naturalist Internship beginning this April. Your support will also help us get new projects off the ground, including our "counter in training" program that we began last fall and plan to expand, getting the next generation of David Sibleys, Pat Suttons and Pete Dunnes engaged in our programs and activities at CMBO.
So today we ask you to once again encourage our team with your per-species pledge, or outright donation. With your help we will make the 35th Anniversary go down in history not only for the excellent longevity of our signature event, but also because of the fundraising records we hope to shatter! Giving is easier than ever, and you may give right now by clicking the DONATE NOW button on the right side of this page.
As always, thank you for your support, and a special thanks to Cellular Tracking Technologies for again sponsoring our team for the third consecutive year.
Once you donate, you'll be added to our supporter list, and we will reach out to you personally to keep you updated on our plans and progress.
Good Birding and Thank You for your Support!
David La Puma
Director, NJ 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 is 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 and 2017. 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 compete in the 35th Anniversary of the WSB, alongside his friends and colleagues, to help raise important conservation dollars critical to running a world-class bird observatory.
President and CEO of Cellular Tracking Technologies
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.
Professor of Migration Ecology
University of Exeter, Cornwall, England
For the past 20 years Jason has studied the migration ecology of insects, and in recent years has expanded his research interests to look at interactions with birds and bats. Although he is an entomologist, he has been obsessed with birds since the age of 10, and whenever possible arranges his work trips with birding opportunities in mind. This approach has enabled him to do extensive birding in the USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, India and China among other places. The last time he competed in a bird race was 1987, so he thinks he's a little out of practice with competitive birding!
Jason says he's really excited to join the CMBO/CTT Conservation Pedalers, for two reasons. Firstly, a chance to raise funds for an organization and location where migration is central to what makes it special is obviously appealing. Secondly, it gives him a chance to go birding once more with my old friend David La Puma, who has already showed him many lifers in Wisconsin and Texas, and he look forward to a few more in New Jersey!