Check out City Birder Tours, and Green-Wood sponsored tours on their calendar pages here.
Celebrate your inner nerd with my new t-shirt design! Available on my Spreadshirt shop in multiple colors and products.

Monday, April 01, 2024

Week 13 - Green-Wood Cemetery

We are now one quarter of the way through the year. Like last week, the changes in migration have remained rather subtle, but the botanics are transforming at an accelerated rate.

In addition to seeing many more vultures migrating over the cemetery, Osprey have picked up their pace as they head north. Very strong winds this week (and some more rain) saw these huge black and white birds streaming by very quickly. Sorry, no photos of them yet, just more Turkey Vultures. Another early migrant, Wilson's Snipe, was seen on my Sunday walk. This skittish bird mostly circled around Sylvan Water (while being chased by a Red-winged Blackbird), landing only briefly, then continuing low flights passed our group. No photos of yesterday's individual, but here's one from April of last year.

Wilson's Snipe

Turkey Vulture

Double-crested Cormorants are on the move with lines of them seen soaring overhead. A few will inevitable stop off at the cemetery's ponds to fill up on fish before continuing. Some are also just arriving at the annual breeding colonies on the small islands in New York Harbor.

Double-crested Cormorant

Mourning Doves are one of the earliest nesting species in the cemetery. On rare occasions, I've seen one on eggs as early as February. Here's one near Crescent Water in a Seven-Son tree.

Mourning Dove

A small flock of Cedar Waxwings were checking out a Sweetgum tree at Crescent Water. This particular tree has been a veritable condominium of nests each Spring. Last year it held nests for Eastern Kingbird, Baltimore Oriole, Cedar Waxwing and Ruby-throated Hummingbird. During yesterday's walk we saw male waxwings there feeding females, a courtship ritual indicating that nesting shouldn't be too far off.

Cedar Waxwing

I may have seen my first Pine Warbler two weeks ago, however, they still haven't arrived in any abundance as of yet. We saw one yesterday within a small mixed flock of kinglets, Chipping Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco. This coming week's forecast of three days of rain with east winds could put the brakes on migration, at least until Friday.

Pine Warbler

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

I watched this Bumblebee (presumably a queen) emerge from her Winter underground home and begin to feed on a hyacinth.


It seems that everyone is focused on when the cherry blossoms will peak. In fact, I had several tourists in the cemetery ask me where the best spots were that they should check. I guess I look like a nature authority ;-) That said, here are some non-cherry blooms that began emerging over the past week.

Birdeye Speedwell

Barren Strawberry

Grape Hyacinth

Katsura tree

Finally, here are a couple of cherry trees in not-quite-peak bloom.

Japanese Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata)

Yoshino Cherry and Shane Blodgett Memorial Bench

No comments: