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Monday, May 10, 2021

May Highlights, So Far

It's pretty obvious that I haven't been updating my blog as often as I have in the past. After 17 years, it's become difficult to keep the enthusiasm going ... but I'm going to try, especially since I have a new camera. That said, here are some Green-Wood Cemetery pic highlights for May, so far:

Early in the month a Summer Tanager paid a visit to the Dell Water and drew a huge crowd of bird paparazzi. As much as I enjoy the enthusiasm, large numbers of people carrying cameras with giant lenses chasing after a bird can't be good for the wildlife.
Probably every visitor to Green-Wood Cemetery with a camera instinctively takes photos of the resident Monk Parakeets. And why not, they are very photogenic.
American Robin is the most prolific breeding bird species in Green-Wood Cemetery. Not sure how this one managed to navigate back to the nest with this bundle of fresh nest material blocking his view.
She may look innocent, but this female Brown-headed Cowbird is looking for an unsuspecting victim to drop off her eggs (cue evil background music).
Not only were the cherry, magnolia, oaks and maples flowering, but a nice variety of wildflowers began blooming. Columbine is one of my favorites to see in May.
At some point during the Spring migration Yellow-rumped Warblers seem to be ubiquitous and their distinctive "pip" call note is omnipresent. On those days I sometimes imagine I'm hearing them when I'm in my apartment.
The annual feast for the snapping turtles lasted a mere four days. Yesterday I only spotted one duckling left.
One day you spot your first arriving Gray Catbird. It's a sign that migration is about to explode. Then, in a day or two, you'll find that they are suddenly in every shrub, tree and understory tangle. They. Are. Here.
Catching a Bald Eagle on migration is common, but I never thought I'd see the day when we'd have a resident one. Meet "Rover". He showed up during Spring 2020. He's come and gone for short periods, but always returns. Hatched in a cemetery in Connecticut it must feel familiar.
Great Crested Flycatchers are the second of the flycatcher species to arrive after the phoebes. Unlike the west and southwest, they are the only colorful ones we see around New York. Some will nest in Green-Wood Cemetery.
Eastern Kingbirds have also just arrived. These tyrant flycatchers are noisy, aggressive and fun to watch. Locally breeding, they can frequently be seen harassing our Red-tailed Hawks.
In no particular order, warblers from the past week: Northern Parula, Nashville Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Cape May Warbler and Bay-breasted Warbler.

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