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Sunday, April 15, 2012

New York City is Full of Spring Birds!

The insect-eating migrants are returning from their winter grounds, following the insects that come with warmer weather and blossoming flowers. In the past two weeks I have seen a Louisiana waterthrush, a phoebe flycatcher, and a palm warbler.




The Louisiana waterthrush pictured above, Parkesia motacilla, was in the small shallow stream in Central Park called The Gill on April 3rd. It is just the kind of place they like to hunt insects. As I watched, it caught a big crane fly. Louisiana waterthrushes spend the winter in Central and South America. They breed in the eastern United States as far north as Maine, so this one might stick around.


The eastern phoebe pictured above, Sayornis phoebe, was behaving typically by perching on a low branch, flicking its tail, and calling  phee-bee! in a loud raspy voice. The call got my attention and helped me locate the small drab bird. It darted into the air to grab an insect and quickly returned to its perch. Phoebes spend the winter in Central America, Mexico, and the southern half of the eastern United States. This one was in Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn Heights on April 5th. Phoebes breed throughout the eastern United States and across Canada.

The palm warbler pauses to look at me. Click to enlarge.


This palm warbler pictured above, Setophaga palmarum, was in Brooklyn Bridge Park on April 13th. It is passing through New York on its way to Canada to breed. Palm warblers spend the winter along the coasts of the southern states, and in Central America and the Caribbean.

6 comments:

  1. I just moved to a place right next to Greenwood Cemetery. I'm excited to be able to see some spring migrants so close by, some of them in large numbers. At one point, I counted 8 species in one tree at the same time!

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  2. I love Green Wood Cemetery. It is beautiful and it's one of the best places in New York to watch the spring migration. I too have stood under one tree for a long time counting warblers. And you have the monk parakeet colony there too! Birder paradise!

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  3. Newyork is wonderful city and this spring birds add more mesmerizing scenes to the city.Thanks for sharing the pics and information as well.

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    1. Hi Wildlife -- You are right about New York! And the spring migration is unexpectedly great here!

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  4. Watching spring birds is an awesome experience, i never went to newyork yet but whenever i will go i will not miss this for sure.

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    1. I hope you get the chance to spend an spring afternoon watching birds in Central Park. And there are so many other things to see here! Best, Julie

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