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, May 20, 2024

Week 20 - Green-Wood Cemetery

Peak migration period is both exhilarating and exhausting. The long days spent outdoors tracking the hundreds (sometimes thousands) of singing birds wears me out, but I can't not do it. I lead more tours in mid-May, but would be outside finding birds irregardless. My fitness tracker claims I walked 26 miles this past weekend. Not surprised I've already worn out one pair of boots this year.

One of the most notable changes in the bird status is the sudden uptick in Cedar Waxwings. These relatively late breeders were seen in fairly large flocks all last week. In addition to the waxwings, goldfinches are now breeding around the cemetery. At least three male Brown Thrashers are singing from high perches, either looking for a mate or, having found one, are claiming their territory.

Cedar Waxwings

American Goldfinch

Brown Thrasher

One scarce sighting was of a Hairy Woodpecker. A larger cousin of the Downy Woodpecker it is more common in the forested sections of adjacent Prospect Park. This individual seemed to be excavating a nest cavity. Hope it is successful.

Hairy Woodpecker

Swainson's Thrushes began moving through the area and I expect that the similar Gray-cheeked Thrush will be arriving shortly. Scarlet Tanagers increased in numbers with a single Summer Tanager gracing us with its rare presence.

Swainson's Thrush

Scarlet Tanager

We haven't seen much of a diversity of flycatchers, with the empidonax family nearly MIA. There was a single Alder Flycatcher on the ridge adjacent to Sylvan Water. Eastern Wood-Pewees were present in fairly good numbers.

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Warbler abundance and diversity started waning by the end of last week. The arrival of Blackpoll Warblers signaled the historical winding down of the songbird migration...and many birder's sadness.

Blackpoll Warbler

Here's a selection of the trees that were flowering last week.

Pignut Hickory

Black Locust

Black Cherry



There were lots of wildflowers blooming and here are a few that caught my eye. Not all are native species, but I won't hold it against them.


Common Fleabane

Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium reptans)

Red Clover

Eastern Red Columbine

The first day of summer is only a month away, so get out and enjoy spring while you still can.

No comments: