PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Hundreds of bird enthusiasts are making their way across New Jersey this weekend as part of the 28th annual World Series of Birding.

In the world of competitive bird watching, New Jersey could be called the Augusta National. The state is considered one of the most strategic, yet overlooked, areas in terms of importance to birds.

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More than 400 different types of birds regularly nest there, and another 130 stop off as part of migratory flights. That’s why organizers say the Garden State is the perfect home for the premiere competition for bird watchers everywhere.

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Pete Dunne, vice president of the New Jersey Audubon Society and founder of the event, says in addition to being a great way to spend a weekend, birding also serves a vital purpose…“to direct people’s attention to the extraordinary bird wealth of the state and birds are just the visible tip of the iceberg. If you’ve got lots of birds, you’ve got lots of great habitats.”

The World Series of Birding is one of the New Jersey Audubon Society’s largest fundraisers.

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Reported By Dan Wing, KYW Newsradio