Monday, May 2, 2016


Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Black-Capped Chickadee, NY Botanical Garden

I'm going to continue catching up in reporting my early-Spring birding, but first a couple of notes about the state of the Spring migration. It's shaping up to be really strong, at least for variety. Some people have had 20-warbler days in Central Park in late April, which is impressive, and even I have managed double-digits (and 19 warblers before May 1, which is a great total for me). If you have any chance at all to get out, do it--there are a lot of birds to see.

Backtracking a few weeks, I went to various places to spice up the March doldrums. A trip to the NY Botanical Garden wasn't too productive, though it did get e my first Pine Warbler of the year, in addition to the curious Chickadee at the top of this post.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Boat-Tailed Grackles, Jamaica Bay

Our friend Barbara took us out to Jamaica Bay NWR for an afternoon, our first time there. There were some nice birds about, like Ospreys and American Oystercatchers, but they were mostly too far away for good photos.

There was a big flock of Boat-Tailed Grackles (part of which was in the tree in the photo above). I hadn't realized they were so well-established in the New York area. I saw one at the NY Botanical Garden a few years ago and it was a startlingly rare sighting.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Brown-Headed Cowbird, Jamaica Bay

This female Cowbird was roosting in a tree outside the visitors' center, directly above a nest box, which is bad news for some nesting bird.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Killdeer, Rosedale NJ

On a trip out to Roseland NJ for a business meeting, I took a walk at lunchtime around the industrial park we were in. I heard a lot of birds tooting and peeping nearby. I went around a building and found a culvert and a gathering of Killdeers, feeding and flying about. They were all calling constantly, justifying their Latin name of Charadrius vociferus, which loosely translates as "loudmouthed Plover".

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Killdeer, Roseland NJ

As always, look for birds and you'll find birds.

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