It may be interesting for New York birders to view this brief summary, of 
highlighted birds seen on a recent C.B.C. in Cape May County, N.J. in part as 
an indicator for how extensive are some of the species (and groups of species) 
lingerings, late to (some) very late in the year - and how that sort of 
‘lingering’ may be moving to an era ahead (& partially, already-here) where we 
all could start to see such (examples of) species as certain pelicans, 
hummingbirds, tyrant flyctachers, vireos, wrens, warblers, buntings and a lot 
more, as winterers or increasingly-late ‘lingerers’ or visitors in the season 
generally thought of as winter by northern birders - Dec., Jan. and February. 
This is already being seen to a modest extent, in some species-groups a bit 
more so, in others very subtly according to what state, county, region one 
observes from most.  Check out (just) these highlights -;id=1572712 

A Townsend’s Warbler was found not long ago in the greater Boston area & thus 
is a reminder that many western-breeding species, including some warbler spp., 
can occur in the northeast into at least the start of winter - and indeed are 
again this year.  Double-check if any ‘unexpectedly late' bird is seen in 
winter - as it just may be of an even-less-expected species.

The C.B.C. - Christmas Bird Count - for New York County -which includes 
Manhattan island- has concluded now, with the count-week period having ended on 
12/18.  Throughout the county, many birds were discovered and counted in 
multiple parks and green-spaces. (one of those many parks is Central Park, a 
modest-sized sub-set of the entire count’s circle, which is officially titled 
'Lower Hudson N.J.’ [LH-NJ in acronym form], yes that is New Jersey, where a 
lot of the "’manhattan’" count is also conducted - not at all unique in being a 
two-state count-circle, but somewhat uncommon.)  

On Manhattan island alone, some interesting birds were seen, many included 
those lingering on far past dates when they ‘should’ have moved on to warmer 
climes in or as far south as central America, the Caribbean islands, &/or to 
the deep south in the U.S.A.

Some of these species ought to be fully-documented by photos of high quality, 
one example being the reports of ongoing Veery in mid-town Manhattan (Bryant 
Park, where one had been seen also in late Nov. & into early Dec.*), the latter 
a potential late state-record date - very rarely others of that species have 
been seen in the northeast of N. America, & documented well, such as in e. 
Canada in winter, but again those are exceedingly rare well-documented cases of 
that species, virtually all of which vacate the United States before November, 
with few lingering even well into Nov. - & many, many claims of this species 
are in fact of Hermit Thrush, a typical ‘half-hardy’ species that regularly 
winters, & survives, in the northeast & mid-Atlantic states, & has done so 
through a long period of records-keeping and documenting.

*N.B., I had another look in Bryant Park, Thursday 12/19 on chance of sighting 
a Veery or any thrush[es] or other lingering such neotropical-wintering type of 
species - the ‘best' I came up with in about 90 minutes look were 3 Gray 
Catbirds; also seen were a minimum of 5 (likely 6+) Swamp Sparrows, and over 60 
White-throated Sparrows plus the usual smattering of urban-feral species. A 
putative/apparent Veery was photographed at that location on Dec. 18th, an 
extremely late date, if the sighting is confirmed, for New York & also for N. 
America north of Mexico. It is at least possible that that thrush is still 
present there, surviving on heated subway-air vents, and on thrown-away crumbs 
& bits from the tens of thousands of hourly (!) passers-by and visitors.

The 4 Nashville Warblers that were found in 3 locations of northern Manhattan 
for (& on) the C.B.C. on Sunday, Dec. 15th were still present through late 
Wed., Dec. 18th, at “Fort Washington Park” or along the south-of-Dyckman St. 
river-trail (2 birds of the same species), at Swindler Cove Park (near Sherman 
Creek, past the east end of Dyckman Street) and, at Morningside Park in the 
area of a small dog-run near W. 112th St., the original finders on count-day 
including Mike Waldron, Tom Gray & others, Ben Sadock, and Jacob Drucker, 
respectively & also some others; these birds may be tough to find if still 
present, and some who have sought them in days after the count-day were not 
successful; in each place, they & other species are as expected moving about 
from hour to hour, & the warblers can be skulking - in addition, at least one 
Orange-crowned Warbler was also still present, as seen on Sunday, 12/15 at the 
same site within Morningside Park (and as seen, again following a Y.-b. 
Sapsucker around at times, using its’ sap-well drillings; with a R-c. Kinglet 
also around… these latter all again as of Wed., Dec. 18th.)

Other lingering warblers of Manhattan have included Common Yellowthroats and 
Ovenbirds, as well as one or more Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] Warblers, in various 
locations, any or all of which may or may not have been noted in the CBC 
efforts, Sun. 12/15, or in the count-week period of same. No warblers of any 
species were counted or reported from Central Park in the C.B.C., incidentally 
- a lot of interesting birds may be found outside of that well-known, 
highly-publicized place, particularly at the edges of migration seasons & also 
during them & in general. This applies to other large parks but also to some 
very small green-spaces, and to other parks & green-spaces off of Manhattan 
island which are a part of N.Y. County (& can be counted for the local C.B.C. 
as well.)

The first-year RED-HEADED Woodpecker of Central Park’s north end is starting to 
gain a bit of red plumage, most noticeable on sunny days & if looking closely 
at all of the ‘hooded’ area, including at the tip-top of the breast, and on the 
nape, where some red is clearly visible now. This bird is regular at trees 
in-between the North Meadow ballfield west edge & the bridle path which is 
adjacent to the West Park Drive (roadway) and nearest to a park entrance near 
W. 97th St. at Central Park West. As winter comes on further, so too will this 
bird’s adult colors.

Iceland Gull & Lesser Black-backed Gull have each been seen, possibly on 
count-day 12/15, & definitively on other days in the count-week. There may have 
been multiple individuals of at least Iceland Gull in New York County in this 
period (not reported lately from Central Park as sometimes has.)  A close watch 
at any areas where gulls gather and may roost can yield some surprises, if 
enough patience is applied.

Interesting for Manhattan island, a few Monk Parakeets (a long-established 
resident/breeding species in parts of N.Y. City) have been sighted, including 
at least 2 on the C.B.C. Sun./15th, in Harlem / northern Manhattan, where 
they’ve appeared at intervals (and nested) previously. At least one population 
are breeding not more than a few miles away.

Many other species that are a bit more-expected, and have been found on some 
prior CBC’s done in Manhattan and New York County, were seen in the count-week 
period &/or on Sunday 12/15, the day of the count - again, many of these 
species were seen at sites not in Central Park - from the northern tip of 
Manhattan island, to the large areas on Randall’s Island in the East River 
estuary, to Roosevelt Island also in the East River, to Governors Island in 
upper New York Harbor, & many, many parks & green-spaces in-between all of 
these. (This is where much of the diversity in the entire N.Y. side of that 
count-circle comes from, having all of these many sites observed, & counted-in.)

Various species seen over the period 12/14 thru at least 12/18 (some still 
around thru 12/19, some perhaps not) in New York County (part of N.Y. City), 
and which may or may not have been counted for the C.B.C. on Dec. 15th:

Red-throated Loon (N.Y. harbor area, in particular)
Common Loon (as above)
Pied-billed Grebe (Central Park reservoir, ongoing)
Great Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (reported from Randall’s Island 12/15, requires a 
Black Vulture (now somewhat regular IF closely watched-for from esp. northern 
Turkey Vulture (as above - but more regular than above species)
Snow Goose (regular/ annual in migration as fly-overs; 2 have been present on 
Randall’s Island lately)
Canada Goose
[Atlantic] Brant
Wood Duck (Central Park; try The Pond in the park’s SE quadrant)
American Black Duck
Northern Shoveler (mainly seen in Central Park)
Green-winged Teal (female, into count-week, at least, Central Park)
Greater Scaup (rather few)
Long-tailed Duck (mostly fly-bys; v. scarce, but regular off Manhattan)
Common Goldeneye (several, mainly off East River estuary locations)
Hooded Merganser (all or almost all at Central Park/various locations)
Red-breasted Merganser (all waters surrounding Manhattan)
Ruddy Duck (mainly seen in Central Park)
Bald Eagle (near-regular from northern Manhattan in particular in N.Y. County)
Cooper's Hawk (multiple)
Red-shouldered Hawk (on count day 12/15, confirmed by multiple observers)
Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot (mostly seen at Central Park reservoir)
American Woodcock (sightings from the count-period)
Ring-billed Gull
[American] Herring Gull
Iceland Gull (several sightings in the count-period for New York County, NYC)
Lesser Black-backed Gull (several sightings within above period)
Great Black-backed Gull
['feral'] Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Monk Parakeet (as noted above, seen on count day 12/15, Harlem-Manhattan)
Great Horned Owl (seen within count-period, at least - n. Manhattan)
E. Screech-owl (resident on Manhattan island)
Belted Kingfisher (continuing individual)
Red-headed Woodpecker (as noted above, first-year bird in Central Park’s n. end)
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (still a number lingering through Manhattan, many 
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Yellow-shafted Flicker
Blue Jay (many)
Common Raven (multiple reports & sightings)
American Crow
Fish Crow (seen & heard on count day 12/15)
Black-capped Chickadee (rather scarce)
Tufted Titmouse (scarce!)
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren (multiple)
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet (scarce, as is typical in winter for New York County)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Veery (reported with apparently-confirming photos thru Dec. 18th, an extremely 
late occurrence for the United States)
Hermit Thrush (multiple - typical winterer in small numbers in eastern N. 
America & some also into southern Canada)
Wood Thrush (reported thru at least 12/13; & possibly still present in midtown 
American Robin
Gray Catbird (fairly numerous in multiple locations in Manhattan this month; & 
through this period)
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher (at least several in various Manhattan locations)
European Starling
American Pipit (Randall’s Island, where likely annual and may linger at times, 
& within count-week)
Cedar Waxwing
Eastern Towhee (multiple still present to at least 12/19)
Chipping Sparrow (at least several on count-day, 12/15, multiple locations & 
Field Sparrow (report)
Savannah Sparrow (at least several on count-day 12/15, Randall’s Island, where 
regular if scant into December)
[Red] Fox Sparrow (multiple, and as are present each winter, Manhattan)
Song Sparrow (multiple)
Swamp Sparrow (many lingering beyond count-week)
White-throated Sparrow (perhaps most-common native passerine in New York County 
every winter - very common)
Dark-eyed Junco (many)
Orange-crowned Warbler (seen on CBC, 12/15)
Nashville Warbler (minimum of 4 individuals seen on CBC, 12/15 - multiple obs., 
3 disparate locations in Manhattan)
Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] Warbler (at least one or two, lingering thru count week 
& into 12/18 or later)
Ovenbird (at least several lingered into count-week)
Common Yellowthroat (as above)
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Rusty Blackbird (at least one seen on count-day 12/15; additional others were 
present in recent weeks on Manhattan)
Common Grackle (typically wintering in Manhattan, with varying numbers one 
winter to the next)
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow 

"I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation 
as is cooperation with good."
― Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

good birding & good luck to all doing C.B.C.’s,
Tom Fiore,


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