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Saturday, May 20, 2017

New York City Rare BIrd Alert

Below is the New York City Rare BIrd Alert for the week ending Friday, May 19, 2017:

* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* May. 19, 2017
* NYNY1705.19

- Birds mentioned
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Sooty Shearwater
Northern Gannet
Black Vulture
Parasitic Jaeger
Red-headed Woodpecker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nelson's Sparrow
Boat-tailed Grackle

- Transcript

If followed by (+) please submit documentation of your report electronically and use the NYSARC online submission form found at

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc44(at)nybirds{dot}org.

If electronic submission is not possible, hardcopy reports and photos or sketches are welcome. Hardcopy documentation should be mailed to:

Gary Chapin - Secretary
NYS Avian Records Committee (NYSARC)
125 Pine Springs Drive
Ticonderoga, NY 12883

Hotline: New York City Area Rare Bird Alert
Number: (212) 979-3070

To report sightings call:
Tom Burke (212) 372-1483 (weekdays, during the day)
Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126 (Long Island)

Compiler: Tom Burke, Tony Lauro
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Ben Cacace


Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, May 19th 2017 at 9pm. The highlights of today's tape are BLACK-NECKED STILT, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL and Spring migrants including PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, KENTUCKY WARBLER, CERULEAN WARBLER, MOURNING WARBLER, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, SUMMER TANAGER, BLUE GROSBEAK and more.

With last week's generally unfavorable migratory conditions including constant strong northerly winds continuing through Monday it wasn't until Tuesday that birds took the opportunity to spread north with the abating conditions and provide our parks with a decent variety and volume of migrants. Tuesday and Wednesday were quite productive but the constant southerly flow also did hustle many of the migrants on their way farther north as the week progressed. These movements often do not produce much in the way of exceptional rarities. More usually instead a very enjoyable migration spectacle.

The only really unusual sighting for the week was the belatedly reported BLACK-NECKED STILT photographed last Sunday along the southeastern section of Napeague Bay a little west of Montauk. Also noteworthy was the continuing now annual staging of LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS along Long Island's south shore. Sixteen were counted Saturday from the swale at Jones Beach West End and some were regularly moving west past the seawatch at Robert Moses State Park last Saturday. Otherwise the seawatch only produced a couple of PARASITIC JAEGERS, some NORTHERN GANNETS and 2 SOOTY SHEARWATERS. Another SOOTY was spotted Saturday morning moving east past Fort Tilden. Sightings from that area much less common and from coastal vantage points farther east.

As for the city parks: Central, Prospect and Forest as well as the other less frequented venues all had very enjoyable days Tuesday and Wednesday with some carryover up to Friday. Approximately 35 species of warblers were reasonably encountered this week. The rarities including a PROTHONOTARY Thursday at Sunken Meadow State Park, single KENTUCKYS from Forest Park Monday and Central Park Tuesday and Wednesday and single CERULEANS spotted in Prospect Park Tuesday and Forest Park Wednesday, an ORANGE-CROWNED photographed in Prospect Park Wednesday and the arrival of some MOURNINGS including in Prospect Park as of Tuesday and in Central Park and Caumsett State Park from Thursday. Reports too of YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER and YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT in the region bring us again to our annual play that if you are lucky enough to encounter especially a rare or newly colonizing species on known or potential breeding grounds please do nothing to disturb or discourage these birds. Their future locally will depend on their nesting success currently.

Besides certain warblers this also pertains to such southern species as BLUE GROSBEAK and SUMMER TANAGER. This week BLUE GROSBEAK was reported from Central Park and also at an eastern Long Island breeding location while SUMMER TANAGER continues to have a good Spring locally with birds noted in Central Park Sunday and Wednesday and Forest Park almost daily to Wednesday and at Hempstead Lake State Park Wednesday.

Several species of flycatchers arrived this week. EASTERN WOOD-PEWEES seemed to appear everywhere on Wednesday and OLIVE-SIDEDS were seen in Central Park and Forest Park Wednesday. Various species of empidonax have been reported but in the city parks identification should generally be determined by confirming vocalizations where species are also now on territory to our north.

Other interesting sightings this week featured 6 BLACK VULTURES over Prospect Park Tuesday, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER at Hempstead Lake State Park Monday, NELSON'S SPARROW at Plumb Beach in Brooklyn as of Sunday and a BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE at Marshlands Conservancy in Rye Westchester County Monday.

To phone in reports call Tom Burke at (914) 967-4922.

This service is sponsored by the Linnaean Society of New York and the National Audubon Society. Thank you for calling.

- End transcript

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