Friday, April 12, 2013

Bird Migration Advances

I was out of town last weekend, but did manage to get out for a bit this week. South winds and warm weather helped advance the North-bound migration and we saw the arrival of several more species.


The most obvious change this week has been the arrival of Palm Warblers. These tail-bobbing, bright yellow songbirds are suddenly fairly common. Listen for their weak warbling song. They forage in trees, but can also frequently be seen on the ground looking for insects. Another wood-warbler which has increased in numbers is the Yellow-rumped Warbler. One unexpected warbler sighting this week was of a Northern Parula. Not typically an early Spring arriver, it has been recorded as early as April 1st along the coast. We spotted it in Prospect Park foraging low in a sapling at the edge of the Upper Pool.

As Golden-crowned Kinglet numbers continue to increase, they have been joined by lower quantities of the related Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

A non-warbler species which has begun dropping into our city parks and backyards this week is the Hermit Thrush. While their numbers are still relatively low, they have definitely increased from the few that managed to overwinter this year.

The winds this weekend won't be optimal for large numbers of North-bound birds, with mostly North or Northwest winds forecast. There will be several hours of South winds predicted for Saturday afternoon into the evening, so perhaps Sunday will be the better day to search for birds.

Below is my species list from this week. The species in all caps are migrants that have either made their first appearance around Brooklyn this Spring or whose abundance has noticeably increased.

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Date Range: Apr 8, 2013 - Apr 14, 2013
Locations: Prospect Park
Species: 63

Wood Duck
Northern Shoveler
RING-NECKED DUCK
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
GREAT EGRET
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON
OSPREY
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK
COOPER'S HAWK
Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot
SPOTTED SANDPIPER
LAUGHING GULL
Belted Kingfisher
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Northern Flicker
American Kestrel
Eastern Phoebe
TREE SWALLOW
BARN SWALLOW
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET
HERMIT THRUSH
NORTHERN PARULA
PALM WARBLER
PINE WARBLER
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER
EASTERN TOWHEE
American Tree Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
American Goldfinch

Other common species seen (or heard):
Canada Goose, Mute Swan, American Black Duck, Mallard, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, American Robin, European Starling, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow

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