Migration was in progress Saturday evening into Sunday 4/21 and some new 
arrivals are much anticipated locally and regionally.

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Manhattan and New York County (including Randall’s Island & Governors Island) - 
& the East River & Hudson river adjacent to & part of the preceding -

Note re: Governors Island: the island will open to the general public on May 
1st; until then it is visited by those who work there &/or are students there; 
I am in touch with several students who observe birds on some days there, & we 
have had reports from among others Annie Barry who works there in affiliation 
with NYC Audubon org. Ferry service for the public commences on 5/1.

Wed., 17 April, 2019 -

In addition to the (Central Park) find of an American Bittern, a rare but 
nearly-regular migrant visitor to New York County (including Manhattan), there 
has been another rare-but-regular migrant this past week, an Eastern 
Whip-poor-will.  However, one of these made contact with a building in 
Manhattan, & was then transported to a local rehabber (from info. provided by 
that rehab. center). Hopefully, it can be set free in a less stressful area.  
Some of the latter species are already on breeding territories in some 
locations north of N.Y. City, & in several nearby states.

Thursday, 18 April - 

Although migration appeared a bit slower for Manhattan on this day, there were 
interesting species on the move as seen from Randall’s Island, & a watch from 
Riverbank State Park, jutting into the Hudson river off West 137th-145th 
Streets, produced at least the following migrants later in the day, with some 
sun also appearing:  Osprey (2), Double-crested Cormorant (28), and these 
Swallows: N. Rough-winged (11), Barn (6), and Tree (3), plus a few unidentified 
hirundines at great distance out over the western part of the river.  There was 
a female Pine Warbler in the scant pine trees within the park, as well as Brown 
Thrasher, & several species of sparrows, including Savannah, Chipping, Swamp, 
White-throated, & Song. 

Good Friday, 19 April -

A strong push of migrants had moved in & also through as of Thursday night & 
Friday morning, this was already evident from reports in the southernmost 
county in New York State (Richmond Co., a.k.a. Staten Island, N.Y. City) on 
Thursday, with weather having held a lot of birds up there; as of Thurs. night, 
that little dam started to burst. Some, perhaps much, of the migration also 
went past N.Y.C. on its way north, but there was good evidence in the city as 
well, and that included diurnal migration on Friday, lasting virtually all of 
that day.

At least one (possibly 2 by some reports, & also some claims that one was 
female; the one I found was a singing male of the form albilora, “white-lored”, 
and I did not definitively see a second bird) Yellow-throated Warbler was in 
the trees along the bridle path of Central Park, and was eventually seen by 
many observers thru the day there, just south of the reservoir’s south/SE side.

Manhattan had a scattering & smattering of other apparently freshly-arrived 
migrants, & also (perhaps to greater extent), a daytime passage of some note of 
a variety of species which are at best uncommonly recorded there; many of these 
were seen from Randall’s Island, as well as (some) at Governors Island & also 
from a few Hudson River vantage points. Some parts of lower Manhattan which I 
checked quite early in the day seemed a bit “slow” and not that productive, at 
least in early-day hours. There were more than 65 species (in total, and not 
all by any one observer) found in N.Y. County on the day, & again, some were 
seen in migration, from off-island, not in or on Manhattan. This actually a 
fairly modest number of species given the apparent movement on the day, more 
generally-regionally.

Saturday & Passover, (20 April) -

A sometimes-singing Yellow-throated Warbler continued in the same area as 
Friday in Central Park. This warbler was again very loosely associated with a 
few Pine Warblers, at least one Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] Warbler, and several 
kinglets in the vicinity, but not necessarily flocking with them. Well before 
noon, I saw the Yellow-throated moving, a lot, between the north and south 
sides of the East 84th-85th / West 86th Street Transverse in various trees, 
watching esp. from the south side, in the Pinetum-East area (north of small 
basketball court, adjacent to the rear wall of the Central Park NYPD police 
precinct station-house). These warblers were all working both sides of the 
Transverse in multiple trees; later in the day, the Yellow-throated was seen 
more on the n. side of the Transverse, along the cindered bridle path (this 
being just w. of the foot bridge that leads up to the SE corner of the Central 
Park reservoir).  In other spring occurrences of YTWA (Yellow-throated Warbler) 
in Central Park, the species has sometimes lingered for many days, & also can 
have a proclivity to wander quite a bit during a more-extended stay. Checking 
all around the general vicinity, including at the Pinetum & near any of the 
Great Lawn could be worthwhile if seeking this bird in coming days. With a 
strong migration overnight Sat. night into Sunday, it’s also possible this bird 
will have moved on, but it may also liinger within the park.

Otherwise, while fresh migration appeared to be a bit slower than the day 
before, Saturday did feature another Yellow-throated - the Vireo, which showed 
well also for multiple observers at Strawberry Fields in Central Park, this 
being a bit early, but in keeping with the scattered regional appearances of a 
variety of neotropical-wintering migrants in NY and also up into New England, & 
to some extent into e. Canada in the past week.  Expect a lot more of this to 
be seen in these next few days as some of these migrants are already not far 
away, & have been “filtering in” from mid-Atlantic states as well as some 
overshoot-like appearances.  A less-expected Black-headed Grosbeak (a western 
N. American breeding species) has been found in Morristown, N.J.. (central New 
Jersey) and that is an indicator and reminder that ‘rare' western vagrants can 
& do show up in spring in the northeast as well as in late fall when a bit more 
regularly-found.

Sightings from Wed. thru Sat. in New York County, including Manhattan, 
Randall’s Island, Governors Island:

Red-throated Loon (regular, waters off Manhattan)
Common Loon (uncommon in waters off Manhattan, also some flyovers)
Pied-billed Grebe (‘scarce’ in past week; Randall’s Island, 4/18)
Horned Grebe (from Randall’s Island, 4/18)
Great Cormorant (off Manhattan island)
Double-crested Cormorant (many now moving, also in local waters)
American Bittern (Central Park, 4/17, many observers)
Great Blue Heron (regular, and some flyovers as well)
Great Egret (now regular)
Snowy Egret (many have arrived, & some are already being seen in the east-west 
aerial corridor above the north part of Central Park & adjacent ‘latitudes’, 
also at Randall’s Island)
Green Heron (few & slightly early, but in several locations, so far)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (now regular & f. numerous in some locations)
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Randall’s Island, 4/18)
Glossy Ibis (flyby from Randall’s Island, 4/18)
Black Vulture (especially as seen from near & in northern Manhattan, scanning 
the sky)
Turkey Vulture (mostly as flyovers)
Canada Goose
Atlantic Brant (numerous, & some seen on Manhattan island shores)
Mute Swan (2)
Wood Duck (scant)
Gadwall
American Black Duck
Mallard
Northern Shoveler (continued in Central Park, as well as some flyovers)
Green-winged Teal (Randall’s Island, 4/18)
Bufflehead (still f. common in various locations)
Hooded Merganser (to at least 4/19)
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck (diminished no’s. in Central Park)
Osprey (now regular, w/ many sightings)
Bald Eagle (scant but most regular off northern Manhattan)
Cooper's Hawk (few, lingering, or very late to go)
Broad-winged Hawk (at least several flyovers on 4/19, from various points)
Red-tailed Hawk (regular, many resident &/or breeding in Manhattan, &etc.)
Wild Turkey (ongoing, in northern Manhattan)
American Coot (few lingering at Central Park)
Killdeer (now regular at Randall’s & Governors Islands)
Greater Yellowlegs (Randall’s Island, 4/18 - calling)
Lesser Yellowlegs (Randall’s Island, 4/18 - seen/calling)
Solitary Sandpiper (by 4/20, perhaps also before then?)
Wilson's Snipe (Randall’s Island, 4/18)
American Woodcock (Manhattan)
Laughing Gull (many, mostly off Manhattan but also at Central Park reservoir 
4/20)
Bonaparte's Gull (several sightings, from n. Manhattan - Hudson River & also at 
Randall’s Island, 4/19)
Ring-billed Gull
[American] Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Forster's Tern (several sightings, as above for Bonaparte’s Gull, also 
Governors Island, 4/19)
['feral'] Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
American Kestrel (regular, breeding in Manhattan)
Peregrine Falcon (regular, breeding all over NYC)
Eastern Screech-Owl (scarce resident)
Whip-poor-will (at least as a bird found in need of rehab. after a Manhattan 
building collision; also noted in region in past week)
Chimney Swift (multiple but not many, still slightly early)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird ( 4/18, 4/19, 4/20, all on migration in flight & of 
course presumed this species; scant reports regionally & some well north of NYC)
Belted Kingfisher (scant now)
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (diminished no’s. in last few days)
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker (scarce)
Yellow-shafted Flicker (modest no’s. in recent days)
Eastern Phoebe (fewer in recent days)
Blue-headed Vireo (still in modest no’s.)
Yellow-throated Vireo (well seen & reported from Strawberry Fields, Central 
Park, 4/20 - Jeffrey Ward & mult.obs.)
Blue Jay (many)
Common Raven (‘scarce’, some from n. Manhattan and also the outlying islands of 
NY County)
American Crow
Fish Crow (good numbers in recent days)
Purple Martin (Randall’s Island, 4/18)
Tree Swallow (multiple, most still flyovers on the move, some now in residence 
on the islands off Manhattan)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (scanty, so far)
Barn Swallow (fairly common from some locations as of 4/18)
[N.B. - both Cliff Swallow & also Bank Swallow have been seen in multiple 
locations regionally, esp. the former sp.]
Black-capped Chickadee (scant now)
Tufted Titmouse (continue in fair numbers in some areas)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (scant, a few in the larger parks)
White-breasted Nuthatch (regular)
Brown Creeper (reduced numbers by 4/19)
Carolina Wren (regular in limited no’s. and locations)
House Wren (v. modest no’s. so far)
Winter Wren (very diminished numbers in recent days)
Marsh Wren (further sightings from Union Square Park, & subsequently at Inwood 
Hill Park)
Golden-crowned Kinglet (scant by 4/19)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (increasing, as expected)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (ongoing, has bred in NY County)
Hermit Thrush (modest numbers in recent days)
[N.B. - reliable recent sightings of at least Wood Thrush, among the genus 
Catharus besides Hermit, from Kings County NYC, & possible sightings in 
manhattan)
American Robin
Gray Catbird v. slight increase in past week)
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher (continue to be seen in some odd sites, also in more-usual areas)
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing (very scarce so far, as expected locally)
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow (ongoing; modest no’s. breed in NY County)
Field Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
[Red] Fox Sparrow (at least to 4/20 in Central Park, now getting late)
Song Sparrow (have already started nesting in some locations here)
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow (still f. common, many singing; expect these to start to 
pull out as the many that winter in NYC migrate north)
[N.B. there were a few recent Manhattan/NY County reports of White-crowned 
Sparrow & Lincoln’s Sparrow; & for N.Y. City, Seaside Sparrow & Vesper Sparrow)
Slate-colored Junco (becoming scant by 4/20)
Northern Cardinal
[N.B. - Rose-breasted Grosbeak & Indigo Bunting have turned up in NYC & also to 
the north in recent days)
Red-winged Blackbird
Rusty Blackbird (to at least 4/17 in Central Park)
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole (subadult male Randall’s Island, 4/18. There are scant reports 
from the region, mostly coastal & along L.I. Sound as of 4/20)
Purple Finch (small numbers; this species has been seeing a strong push in much 
of the country, esp. to our west so far)
House Finch
American Goldfinch (good no’s., & some could stay to nest)
House Sparrow (a ubiquitous pest, which competes w/ native nesting birds 
locally)
-
Northern Parula (multiple sightings in several Manhattan parks, up to at least 
3 at a time in Central Park, & multiple obs. & locations)
Yellow Warbler (Randall’s Island, 4/18 - not noted subsequently on 4/19 or 
4/20; scant so far in the region, & a bit early)
Magnolia Warbler (several reports from Manhattan, rather early)
Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] Warbler (multiple, but not hordes as of 4/20)
Black-throated Green Warbler (at least one credible report, 4/19 at Highbridge 
Park, n. Manhattan - to north of the I-95 interchange)
Yellow-throated Warbler (at least one male of form albilora, seen & 
photographed by many, 4/19 & 4/20, Central Park. s. of reservoir)
Pine Warbler (fewer than previous report, & more females)
Prairie Warbler (several parks, including Inwood Hill Park., n. Manhattan, 4/19 
where photo’d. by N. O’Reilly and w/mult. other obs.)
Palm Warbler (ongoing, more females arrived, & a few / scant “western”-form 
found)
Black-and-white Warbler (multiple but stilll somewhat scant, a few females 
appearing)
American Redstart (at least one report from Central Park, 4/19; early, yet 
already documented in a few locations in the region)
Ovenbird (several reports, my sighting from Chelsea Piers, 4/19, still fairly 
early)
Northern Waterthrush (multiple, with some singing)
Louisiana Waterthrush (ongoing, but diminished by 4/19)
Common Yellowthroat (several reports, my sighting from Chelsea Piers, 4/19 - at 
West 24th St. & Hudson River edge in Manhattan)
Hooded Warbler (ongoing male, not always vocal, 4/17 thru 4/20, north end of 
Central Park)

Note that multiple warbler spp. including all of the above & at least a few 
additional spp. have been reported from the region & some well north already.

Many trees and shrubs have come into bloom &/or begun their leaf-out, after 
some recent milder temp’s, & no shortage of rain & moisture. Also out now in 
NYC are many native species of spring ephemerals - diverse herbaceous plants 
which bloom mainly just as or before leaf-out is underway.  Ornamental flowers 
also are out all around N.Y. City.  Some ornamental trees have already started 
to drop their blossoms and are in leaf-out. As more neotropical-wintering birds 
arrive soon, some will find cover, as well as more emerging arthropods to feed 
on.

Happy Pesach & also Happy Easter to those who observe, & to all: happy spring 
birding,

Tom Fiore
manhattan


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