Some may have been aware by now of the sighting of a Common Wood-Pigeon (a 
European species, with no prior records for North America) from May 5 thru 13, 
2019 at the locality of La Romaine, Quebec (Canada), a site near to Labrador. 
This sighting - and the excellent photos obtained - could be a 1st North 
American record for that species, if accepted by various committees. It is seen 
by many as potentially a natural migrant, especially given the particular 
location & it’s (relative) proximity to areas where the species is known, and 
also given the dates of the sighting.  This general region of northeastern 
Canada, including the Maritime provinces, has been favorable for a number of 
discoveries of mainly western-European (with the British Isles / Ireland, and 
Iceland all included therein) &/or Eurasian species that have natural ranges 
not so far off from the eastern-most parts of N. America. It is also worth 
noting that as the vast island of Greenland warms, more habitat there for 
creatures of many kinds, & particularly certain migratory or wandering birds 
may be increased; the same is so for Iceland and of course in many places that 
are part of N. America’s vast northern realm. 

As a preface to some of the below sightings, there are N. American-breeding 
warblers that have already been detected (now, in late July 2019) at the edges 
of the Gulf of Mexico (on both the U.S. & Mexican sides) which are not at all 
local to those shores or those areas; this is part of migration, and it is not 
particularly unusual that modest numbers, or even (for some species) more than 
small numbers, of these N. American migrant species are on the move, southward. 
Obviously, the pace of all that will pick up in the weeks ahead. It is not only 
shorebirds (or ‘waders’ to much of the rest of the birding-world) that are 
moving southward in earnest by now, & for some, have already been doing so for 
at least some weeks, just as for the earliest-moving waders (a.k.a. shorebirds).
A noticeable southbound migration occurred overnight from Thursday into Friday 
26 July… thru the N.Y. City region, and also far beyond.
Manhattan, N.Y. City (& adjacent isles in N.Y. County, NYC) - thru Thursday, 25 
July, 2019 -

The following warbler species have been detected in Manhattan (& on some of 
its’ adjacent isles which are also part of New York County as is all of the 
island of Manhattan; those isles include Governors Island, Randall’s Island, & 
other small bits of land in the estuaries or harbor of New York City, and in 
the county of New York.):

Blue-winged Warbler (male, apparent adult male, and just very slightly early, 
Riverside Park, 7/25.)
Northern Parula (at least one, possibly 2 or more, had spent the late spring & 
all of the summer so far in Central Park, which is somewhat unusual but not 
unprecedented. Although exceedingly unlikely, the species has bred, & attempted 
to breed, in New York City, historically, and it is a species that also has an 
extended migration period both on the northbound passage as well as the 
southbound & for both ‘ends’ of the phenological ‘graphs'.)
Yellow Warbler (multiple, & more have been seen, with far more regularity in 
the last 4 days.)
Blackburnian Warbler (not particularly extra-early, an adult male was seen in 
the far north end of Central Park by Wed., 7/24, and had lingered there.)
Prairie Warbler (seen in 2 locations in northern Manhattan, possibly of 1 
individual, but as likely two or more.)
Black-and-white Warbler (several; at least one individual spent the late spring 
& start of summer in Central Park, that one solo, & with no sign whatsoever of 
a breeding attempt.)
American Redstart (several, but not many yet. This species breeds in other 
counties -or, ‘boroughs'- of New York City and could possibly breed on 
Manhattan or its adjacent islands.)
Worm-eating Warbler (at least two, one in Central Park, another at a location 
where 2 of the species were detected very late into the spring; this species 
still breeds very near to N.Y. City.)
Northern Waterthrush (multiple, having been detected as early as at least 16 
July in Central Park, as well as subsequent days, all fairly expected - with 
peak southbound movement of this species yet to come.)
Louisiana Waterthrush (several, since the somewhat early detection of one just 
past the start of ‘calendar summer’; also present thru 7/26, in Manhattan’s 
Central Park.)
Common Yellowthroat (several pairs or more were present throughout June & to 
now in July, and this species manages to nest in Manhattan & its adjacent 
islands, with some apparent struggle to actually have nest success. Also, there 
can be solo males that linger on, failing to attract a mate, & stay on to 
finish out a season in Manhattan)

Of the above, at least are potential breeders in Manhattan &/or New York County 
(Yellow Warbler & Common Yellowthroat) & at least one more is a 
possible-potential scarce/rare breeder (American Redstart).  This leaves 8 
species which are not likely breeders, & not known to currently nest in 
Manhattan nor in New York County.   Of those 8, in the list above of species 
found in the past week or less, at least 2 were lingering in several locations 
thru the late spring & earlier part of this summer, those 2 spp. are Northern 
Parula, and Black-and-white Warbler.  

In addition, at least 1 species was found some weeks ago & likely represented a 
modestly early (albeit rather normal phenology for the species) southbound 
migrant - Louisiana Waterthrush. As of this week of July (within the 3rd 
trimester of the month) it is normal to find any or all of these species in 
southbound migration, & for a few it is already well within the period in which 
that directional migration may have -& has- begun. Once other species, 
including many shorebirds (a.k.a. ‘waders’ in much of the world) have begun to 
move south, there is also a corresponding movement south, in addition to 
post-breeding dispersal or wandering and feeding, by a number of landbird 
species, including some passerines, & in particular in that group, some species 
of American warblers. The groups of other tribes that show tendencies for 
early-summer movement, including some southbound movements, include some in the 
swallow-martin tribe, and some of the Icteridae - the orioles, bobolinks, 
blackbird family. Even before the end of July, some (relatively small numbers, 
but in the multiple per day) Red-winged Blackbirds, & Common Grackles, were 
moving south and this was observed from coastal barrier beach areas in the 
Rockaway peninsula of Queens County, NYC, where it is possible to observe birds 
moving along the shore region (including some ways interior to the immediate 
shore-surf line, or even interior to any dune-lines present) and continue to 
observe same individals or flocks move off, over the salt water and across 
towards the shores of New Jersey, to the south, watching from near a shore 
point or at a high enough sky-observing post. Also moving (& also as expected) 
had been some swallows, esp. Northern Rough-winged & Tree Swallows, as well as 
some unidentified swallows. Purple Martins can be on the move now in addition 
to those in areas where they’ve nested.

Just over 100 Common Terns were counted from Governors Island on Sunday, 21 
July. This included a modest number of juveniles. Also of note on that isle, 
which is in upper New York Harbor & can be reached by quick ferries, was a 
Rose-breasted Grosbeak, which can be presumed a wanderer or somewhat early 
migrant at that particular location. The species does nest in N.Y. City, in at 
least a  few locations. Again, Governors Island is within New York County, 
which is within N.Y. City.

The following species have been found on Manhattan &/or its adjacent smaller 
isles (or as fly-overs, & confirmed by both sight & voice), this week; none are 
at all unexpected; some may have been present all summer, others passing or 
lingering just recently.
Wood Duck
American Black Duck
Lesser Yellowlegs (multiple)
Greater Yellowlegs (multiple)
Solitary Sandpiper (multiple)
Spotted Sandpiper (multiple)
Semipalmated Sandpiper (multiple)
Least Sandpiper (multiple)
Laughing Gull (multiple)
Ring-billed Gull (fresh-plumaged birds have been appearing)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Common Raven 
Fish Crow (nested 2019)

And some (not nearly all) of additional species detected in the past 10+ days 
in Manhattan, NYC - this is merely a ‘sampler’ of some of many more species of 
birds detected in the past ten days at & over Manhattan & its adjacent smaller 
isles -

Chimney Swift (multiple)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (N.B. this is a good time, all the way thru to the 
end of any year, to look out for other hummingbird species which might show up 
almost anywhere in N. America, & in summer months, could survive in almost any 
locations if they are far out-of-range, that obviously less so in northern 
areas, by late in any year.)
Yellow-shafted Flicker (multiple - nested on Manhattan)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (multiple - nested on Manhattan)
Eastern Phoebe (nested on Manhattan - no, NOT in Central Park)
Great Crested Flycatcher (mulktiple - nested on Manhattan)
Eastern Kingbird (multiple - nested on Manhattan)
Warbling Vireo (multiple - nested on Manhattan)
Red-eyed Vireo (multiple - nested on Manhattan)
Barn Swallow (multiple - nested on Manhattan)
Tree Swallow (nested)
Black-capped Chickadee (multiple nested)
Tufted Titmouse (multiple nested)
White-breasted Nuthatch (multiple - nested on Manhattan)
Carolina Wren (multiple - nested on Manhattan)
House Wren (multiple - nested on Manhattan)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (nest attempt, apparently no fledgelings)
Wood Thrush (multiple nests & fledges in at least several of the larger parks; 
a minimum of 3 nests -3 pairs of adults- succeeded even in busy Central Park’s 
wooded areas this summer.)
Gray Catbird (multiple - nested on Manhattan)
Northern Mockingbird (multiple nested on Manhattan)
Brown Thrasher (nested on Manhattan)
Cedar Waxwing (multiple - nested on Manhattan)
Scarlet Tanager (summer status not determined in this county)
Eastern Towhee (nested on Manhattan)
Chipping Sparrow (multiple - nested on Manhattan)
Song Sparrow (multiple nested on Manhattan)
White-throated Sparrow (NON-nesting, summering in small numbers, not at all 
unusual in Manhattan)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (potential breeding; the species nests annually within 2 
miles of Manhattan)
Indigo Bunting (summer status not determined in this county, for 2019; seen 
also in Central Park 7/25)
Bobolink (few detected, some southbounders already)
Red-winged Blackbird (multiple - nested on Manhattan)
Common Grackle (multiple - nested on Manhattan)
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole (nested on Manhattan)
Baltimore Oriole (multiple - nested on Manhattan)
American Goldfinch

A Variegated Fritillary was beautifully photographed by Ken Chaya of Manhattan, 
in Central Park, NYC on Saturday, 7/20 - a moderately uncommon butterfly 
sighting for Manhattan, but has been found in that park previously, and is 
semi-regular to other parts of N.Y. City, particularly some shore areas; the 
7/20 observation also by Mike Freeman of Manhattan. In addition, 22 other 
species of butterflies have been seen in the past 2 weeks in New York County.  
Among those which are (usually, in most years) less common here include 
American Snout (a species that can be ‘irruptive’ and this certainly appears to 
be one of those years, with some reports from across the northern edges of NY 
state, for example (not unprecedented, but unusual in some locations), as well 
as Common Buckeye, which similarly appears to be having a good season in the 
mid-Atlantic region, & to some extent farther north as well. Both of these 
latter species might be watched for in many weeks ahead & as summer comes 
towards its calendar-end, a lot more of these more-southern-affinity species of 
butterflies (including some skipper species) may be looked for in our region 
and possibly all through NY state. Among the larger and more colorful of these 
to watch for is the Cloudless Sulphur, a somewhat lime-yellow & quite large 
butterfly that can show up at times very far north of its more-typical range in 
the south/southwest; that latter species most often will be seen in-flight, far 
larger than any of the typical sulphur butterflies that may be present all 
summer & in many locations of NY.  In some years, there are larger numbers of 
those & some other ‘southern” butterflies, while in many years, the sightings 
of such ‘southerners’, at least in quantity, can be rather minimal in this 
region. Any day with southerly or southwesterly winds and warmth might be one 
to keep an eye out for such species, as the summer moves on.  There are 
thousands of other insects (yes, species of, as well as countless individuals 
of some spp.) being seen, as well as many mostly unseen now, in Manhattan 
alone, & far more in the wider region as this is a peak period for adult-stage 
invertebrates to be active & many are findable even in city parks.

"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)

"The time to save a species is while it is still common” - Rosalie Edge, 
founder of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania.

good birding,

Tom Fiore
manhattan -
& elswehere


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