Manhattan, N.Y. City - week of June 9th thru 14th, 2019 (Sunday- Friday/14th)

Still hanging in at Bryant Park, in midtown Manhattan, were at least 3 warblers 
- Mourning (female), Ovenbird, and Common Yellowthroats (2), along with Hermit 
Thrush, Gray Catbird (at least 3), Eastern Towhee, Swamp Sparrow, Song Sparrow, 
and at least 5 White-throated Sparrows. There may have been a few other 
lingering migrants. All of these birds likely there for some time, & have been 
seen over the past week by multiple observers including me. There were at least 
several people watching on Thurs. 6/13. These birds can be in scattered areas, 
but the warblers, esp. the female Mourning, have often been either in the SW or 
the NW parts of this park, & the area on the extreme NW corner (42nd St. side) 
where bee-hives are located is a spot they have congregated in at times when 
not seen elsewhere. A few of the above-noted birds also have been on the Fifth 
Ave. side near the main N.Y. public library, in the minimal shrubberies there.  
This small-ish park is interesting for how migrants here may be ‘held’ for very 
long periods, while in other very nearby parks (such as Central, & others) the 
same species of migrants tend to move on much more readily; this at least 
suggests that this park truly can be a migrant-trap, in a nearly literal sense 
of the phrase. (And yet, multiple migrants do come - & also move on - at this 
location, each year. It may be that some effects are simply magnified here - or 
at least apparently, to we who watch.) Most common here are the 3 ‘typical’ 
inner-urban establsihed feral species: Rock Pigeon, European Starling, & House 

At some of Manhattan’s larger parks, such species as Great Crested Flycatcher, 
E. Kingbird, E. Wood-Pewee, Wood Thrush, & White-throated Sparrow continue, all 
in the multiple. For example there have been at least 6 Wood Thrushes in 
Central Park, 3 of which were calling & singing thru Thursday in separate 
locations. Riverside Park & at least a few other parks also have had that 
species continue. A drake Wood Duck is ongoing in Central Park - fairly typical 
for at least 1 to be around in summer.  Regulars around Manhattan (mainly 
larger parks &/or in northern sections) include Warbling & Red-eyed Vireos, 
Baltimore Orioles, & (much less commonly) Chipping Sparrow, Orchard Oriole, & 
Yellow Warbler which (as does Common Yellowthroat) manages to nest - scantly - 
on Manhattan.  Again, re: White-throated Sparrows - the species is common in 
colder months in Manhattan’s greenspaces, & at least a few are typically found 
summering there as well, with no evidence of any breeding attempts.

A Yellow-billed Cuckoo was still present, or rather late to move thru, at the 
north end of Central Park on Thursday 6/13. A male Scarlet Tanager was still 
around in Central Park to at least Sunday, 6/9 & was seen as well as heard by 
several observers.  A Northern Waterthrush was still present through at least 
Wed., 6/12 in Central Park. Some of these very late individuals may not get to 
breeding sites this year and that situation is not too uncommon.  Soon enough, 
there is a chance of finding species such as L. Waterthrush moving away from 
breeding areas.

At least one Blackpoll Warbler (male) was also still present in Central Park’s 
north woods to Thursday, 6/13 and despite that species tendency to be among the 
late-movers of the spring migration, this is rather late for one there.  It is 
actually more usual to find such warbler species (besides those that have 
nested in Manhattan) as N. Parula, Black-and-white, and even Blackburnian 
Warbler into the summer season in Manhattan parks than it is to see the 
“late-movers” such as Blackpoll, Bay-breasted, or a few others.  And indeed, 
exactly those 3 species of warblers were present in Central Park early Fri. 
(6/14) morning: N. Parula (at least 2 males), Black-and-white (female) & 
Blackburnian (female).  

Other species that continue to be seen in & over Manhattan include - 
Double-crested Cormorant, Green Herons, Snowy & Great Egrets, Black-crowned 
Night-herons, Chimney Swifts, Downy, Hairy (scarce) & Red-bellied Woodpeckers, 
Yellow-shafted Flickers, Carolina & House Wrens, White-breasted Nuthatches, 
Fish & American Crows, Blue Jay, N. Rough-winged, Tree, and Barn Swallows, 
Northern Mockingbirds, Brown Thrasher (shy & scarce now), Cedar Waxwings, N. 
Cardinals, House Finches, Red-winged Blackbirds & Common Grackles, & assorted & 
sundry other regular summer / nesting species.

There have been ongoing movements of Red Admirals, Question-marks, Lady (both 
American & Painted) species, & harder to quantify but certainly moving as well, 
American Snout, and Monarch butterflies, in addition to the dozen or so 
additional butterfly species that (are regular in season &) have been seen 
recently in Manhattan. Also showing a lot more vigor have been various odonate 
species (dragonflies & damselflies), some in good numbers lately, & with the 
chance of some less-expected species showing up, for those watching out for 
them. Many insects & other arthropods have been showing up & emerging 
increasingly in the past few weeks.  Many ‘summer” plants are coming into 
bloom, one example being dogbanes.

"Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding 
that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The 
birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be 
celebrated.” - Terry Tempest Williams (contemporary activist, and author of 
many books)

good birding,

Tom Fiore


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