Manhattan, N.Y. City
second half of July - 2018 -

A whole lot of migration has taken place, just as expected, in the 2nd half of 
July, and - again, as expected - many were not southbound shorebirds (although 
of course plenty were), and Manhattan island saw its fair share of those 
migrants that were & are working south.  (In the month of August, the majority 
of species-diversity of N. American-breeding warblers will have departed their 
breeding areas and begun to work their way south; some will have reached their 
so-called “wintering” destination well before August is over.  Note the 
reference to diversity - which does include high numbers of individuals, as 
well, by later in August; many warblers that breed in parts of our region are 
spending up to 7-8 months in the places where they stay for the winter, thus 
obviously taking in a lot more than a 3-month period of calendar-winter. Part 
of the prrof of this is seen from banding, as well as sight & photo-records, 
from many points far south including in South and Central America, Mexico, and 
the Caribbean islands.)   

The irruptive movements of Red-breasted Nuthatch, which have been noted across 
this continent in relatively modest numbers this summer, may or may not 
indicate a lot about any other species that are ‘irruptive’. This summer’s 
movements of this nuthatch species are not at all unprecedented, and it is hard 
to predict what the species may do in our area as we get to the true fall (by 
claendar) season; even thenm should more Red-bresated Nuthatches be seen in 
downstate NY, this is not that good an indicator that that same area is due for 
a finch movement. All of the birds that are irruptive are known to move in ways 
that are still not quite predictable, although obviously they will move on if 
food for them is scarce.  It also should be noted that like so many bird 
species we don’t immediately see as “insectivorous”, all of the finches, and 
nuthtaches, and a wide variety of other kinds of birds will take insect & 
arthropod prey when & where easily obtained. That’s obviously more likely, or 
at least possible, in the warnest weather when such prey items can be very 
common.   It also should be well-known, that there are early-mid summer 
movements of icterids, including such members of that family as Bobolink, both 
of our breeding species of Oriole (& particularly Orchard Oriole), & also 
Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, and Brown-headed Cowbird.  As with so 
many other after-breeding migrations, the coast is one of the areas, and 
especially some sites on the outer barrier-beach strips, where all of these 
phenomena might be witnessed… and all it takes are the witnesses!

Still & anyhow, in Manhattan (& excluding the off-island parts of political NY 
County, where a lot is also being seen), there were reasonable numbers of 
migrants for the latter half of July, 2018 - and at least some hardy watchers 
looking out for them.

Among the migrants seen the past 2 weeks in Manhattan, including at Central 
Park and multiple other parks; many of those birds detected were in the few 
periods of arriving cool fronts on non-southerly, or merely calm & non-stormy 
nights in the region. In a few instances, migrants also were moving in as storm 
or hot-weather systems were approaching SE NY & then moved in.

Great Blue Heron
American Black Duck
Northern Shoveler
Green-winged Teal
Osprey
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Solitary Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
- - - (multiples of ALL of the above, noted in July)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (irruptive, so perhaps not necessarily a strict ‘migrant’ 
in or thru the area, even in summer)
Blue-winged Warbler (very modestl;y early)
Northern Parula (few, & some of these also may have been summering locally, 
&/or early to head south)
Yellow Warbler (many, in addition to very modest numbers of breeders &/or those 
lingering)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (modestly early, &/or possibly a southbound non-breeder)
Blackburnian Warbler (few, not at all unprecedented in July for first 
southbound movement)
Prairie Warbler (few)
Black-and-white Warbler (multiple, but not yet that many; & in addition to very 
few which may have been summering & not breeding)
American Redstart (modest increase, and in addition to a few that may have been 
summering, as well as very few potential attempts at breeding - or at least at 
attracting a mate in Manhattan)
Worm-eating Warbler (usual few, & expected in part as early as July, & far more 
thru early-mid August)
Northern Waterthrush (multiple and can be quite common by this date in 
migration)
Louisiana Waterthrush (few identified, absolutely expected & some can also 
appear in late June, as migrants working south by then)
Canada Warbler (few)
Indigo Bunting (these may be simply non-breeders moving a bit, or early 
southbound)
Bobolink (few, and not esp. early for small numbers to start gathering / 
heading south)
Red-winged Blackbird (modest to moderate numbers, some are expected southbound 
in mid-summer)
Common Grackle (as for previous species)
Brown-headed Cowbird (as for previous)
Orchard Oriole (some also breeders, but a few may well be on the move in July)
Baltimore Oriole (as w/ the preceding species)

and, the many more visiting &/or nesting species of Manhattan island in July:

Double-crested Cormorant (fairly common visitor, & fly-overs)
Great Blue Heron (visitors, not nesting)
Great Egret (visitors as well as fly-overs)
Snowy Egret (fly-overs & a few visitors)
Green Heron (nested, also with fledged young)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (common visitors, & common fly-overs at dawn-dusk & 
seen in the night)
Canada Goose (nested, also with fledged young)
Wood Duck (2, Central Park, apparent residents)
Gadwall (potentially may nest at Manhattan’s shores, but not seen with young)
Mallard (nested, also with fledged young)
Osprey (regular sightings, poss. of local wanderers in the general area)
Bald Eagle (as preceding; this species is also nesting less than 10 miles away)
Cooper's Hawk (potentially nesting, but also a possible non-breeding summer-er)
Red-tailed Hawk (dozens nested & also with fledged young)
Killdeer (potential nester on Manhattan island, has done so repeatedly in 
modern era)
Laughing Gull (uncommon but regular visitors, less-so in Central Park, more so 
off lower Manhattan)
Ring-billed Gull (regular & just lately a small increase)
[American] Herring Gull (fairly common and year-round)
Great Black-backed Gull (year-round)
Common Tern (uncommon off lower Manhattan, and some breeding close by)
Forster's Tern (very uncommon off lower Manhattan)
Black Skimmer (as for the preceding species)
['feral'] Rock Pigeon (ubiquitous and breeding)
American Kestrel (dozens nested & also with fledged young)
Peregrine Falcon (nested, and fledged young; multiple sites)
Mourning Dove (common, many fledged young)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (although a bit unlikely, this species does nest in NYC, & 
could have in some sites in Manhattan, as it had historically done)
Chimney Swift (uncommon, & some likekly breeders - but also non-breeding 
summer-ers)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (some possibly staying thru summer, & has bred very 
sparsely)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (nested, also with fledged young)
Downy Woodpecker (nested, also with fledged young)
Hairy Woodpecker (nested, also with fledged young)
Yellow-shafted Flicker (nested, also with fledged young)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (nested, also with fledged young)
Empidonax [genus] Flycatcher (status uncertain; there were several Acadian 
Flycatchers lingering into early summer in Manhattan, which is more-common in 
this era)
Great Crested Flycatcher (nested, also with fledged young)
Eastern Kingbird (good no’s. nested, also with fledged young)
Yellow-throated Vireo (possible breeder as in some other recent years, &/or 
could be a rather early southbound bird)
Warbling Vireo (nested, also with fledged young)
Red-eyed Vireo (nested, also with fledged young; less-common as a Manhattan 
breeder than the preceding vireo sp.)
Blue Jay (nested, also with fledged young)
American Crow (nested, also with fledged young)
Tree Swallow (nesting possible - documentation? - as well as some not-so-early 
movers passing through all summer)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (as for previous but far less common)
Bank Swallow (sparsely-noted & all just migrants moving in Manhattan)
Barn Swallow (nested, also with fledged young)
Black-capped Chickadee (nested, also with fledged young - sparse no’s.)
Tufted Titmouse (nested, also with fledged young - low no’s.)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (irruptive species; some may now be lingering a while as 
summer goes along)
White-breasted Nuthatch (nested, also with fledged young)
Carolina Wren (nested - earlier, & also with fledged young)
House Wren (nested, also with fledged young)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (nesting attempt; one noted failure)
Veery (this is a rare sighting IF a summering bird & also is unexpected so 
early as a southbound migrant)
Wood Thrush (few; (nested, also with fledged young - also some nest-failures 
noted in a few locations, as is not that uncommon in Manhattan)
American Robin (nested, also with fledged young - extremely common, some have 3 
broods)
Gray Catbird (nested, also with fledged young)
Northern Mockingbird (nested, also with fledged young)
Brown Thrasher (nested, also with fledged young - and delightfully UNdisturbed 
this summer)
European Starling (common breeder and year-round resident bird)
Cedar Waxwing (nested, also with fledged young - some few may still be doing 
‘late’ nestings)
-
Blue-winged Warbler (perhaps just summering, or slightly early migrant)
Northern Parula (a few summering; very scarce & rare as nester in NYC) 
Yellow Warbler (small no’s. nest annually, mostly in northern Manhattan)
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler (at least one male has summered in Central Park, NOT 
attempting to breed)
Pine Warbler (few sightings, a scarce nester in NYC, & slightly unlikely to 
have in Manhattan)
Black-and-white Warbler (as is rather common each summer, a few lingering &/or 
summering)
American Redstart (ditto the above - BUT this species also breeds in low no’s. 
in NYC as well)
Ovenbird (summering)
Common Yellowthroat (small numbers nest, &/or attempt to nest, annually in 
Manhattan, incl. in Central Park)
-
Scarlet Tanager (potentially breeding but status undetermined; a very scant 
breeder in NYC, at least in Bronx County)
Eastern Towhee (nested, with fledged young - thankfully undisturbed this summer 
here in Manhattan)
Chipping Sparrow (nested, also with fledged young - uncommon but annual now)
Song Sparrow (nested, also with fledged young)
Swamp Sparrow (summering ONLY in Manhattan)
White-throated Sparrow  (summering ONLY in Manhattan)
Northern Cardinal (nested, also with fledged young)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (nested, with fledged young - has done so for some 
years, at Inwood Hill Park in northern Manhattan)
Indigo Bunting (possibly only summering &/or a rather early-moving migrant, but 
is a nester in some sites in NYC, now “scarce”)
Red-winged Blackbird (nested, also with fledged young)
Common Grackle (nested, also with fledged young)
Brown-headed Cowbird (likely parasitize some nests in Manhattan, & young have 
been seen in summer)
Orchard Oriole (nested, also with fledged young - rather scarce in Manhattan)
Baltimore Oriole (nested, also with fledged young - fairly common in Manhattan)
House Finch (nested, also with fledged young)
American Goldfinch (nested, also with fledged young - fluctuates year-to-year, 
this summer a very few noted)
House Sparrow (ubiquitous nearly year-round urban breeder with very high no’s. 
of young produced, in total)

-  -  -  -
"Have we fallen into a mesmerized state that makes us accept as inevitable that 
which is inferior or detrimental, as though having lost the will or the vision 
to demand that which is good?” - Rachel Carson (1907-1964; marine biologist, 
conservationist, author whose books include ‘Silent Spring’.  Sir David 
Attenborough has remarked that that book may have had an effect on science 
second only to Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species”.)

Tom Fiore,
manhattan
& beyond.









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