Red-breasted Nuthatches  - Central Park, NYC & NYBG, Bronx
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
OBS: Robert DeCandido, PhD

Prompted by the discovery of a Red-breasted Nuthatch in the Central Park Ramble Sunday Morning (June 24) with a photo posted on twitter by @jian_birdcp (see for details), Bob found at least three Red-breasted Nuthatches today in the extensive conifer plantings at the NYBG in the Bronx.

The last time Red-breasted Nuthatches appeared in NYC this early was in 2016, when we found two on Saturday June 25 at NYBG in the Bronx on our Saturday morning bird walk. The following day, Sunday June 26, again on our bird walk, Jeff Ward found one on the east side of the Ramble.

That same week in June 2016, others had previously reported seeing early arriving Red-breasted Nuthatches in New Jersey as well as Connecticut on their respective state lists. Autumn 2016 proved to be an irruption year for Red-breasted Nuthatches until mid-October when the numbers of bird reported declined significantly in our area.

Twitter, particularly the different alerts for each NYC borough, has been invaluable in getting immediate information out to interested persons - and has helped birders to communicate with each other in real time. Thank You to David Barrett for setting up these alerts.

There does not appear to be any correlation between irruptions of Red-breasted Nuthatches and irruptions of winter finches, as this 2005 post from the Delaware list ( points out: .

"Probably the greatest year for winter finches was 1969-1970, which was also a good year for Red-Breasted Nuthatches. 1977 was another good winter finch year, but there were almost no RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES found. 1982 was a good year for RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, but there were only PURPLE FINCHES in the area. Despite all efforts, there doesn't seem to be a correlation between invasion years for RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES and winter finches. You can get this information from looking at Christmas Count Data."

Bob also found fledged Cedar Waxwings this morning at the NYBG.

Deb Allen
Follow us on twitter @BirdingBobNYC & @DAllenNYC

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