Exaltations and bird-joy to all New York’s birders, who have been finding, 
observing, recording & reporting so many great sightings.

New York County (N.Y. City) including Manhattan
Thursday, May 21st, through Monday, May 25th - 

As somewhat anticipated, the delays in many of the typical for mid-May migrants 
which were a bit bottled-in farther south (including some south of the U.S. 
southern border) by weather systems, has broken-open & this is allowing the 
more usual flow of many species, some in numbers that are very welcome to see, 
into & through the region, including N.Y. City.  Ongoing at the lake-side of 
the Central Park Ramble has been an adult Yellow-crowned Night-Heron which was 
still lingering.

Arrivals included… ( ?) It’s not clear that there were ‘new' species found for 
the county in this report period. Some species have come in and not been 
widely-detected yet; an example of such (here) would be Mourning Warbler, and 
there are others.

Thursday, 5/21 - A relatively quiet day in terms of sensible diurnal movements 
or much in the way of new overnight arrival (from Wed. 5/20, that is). It was 
still possible, with efforts, to seek and find a dozen or more warbler species, 
& a modest variety of other migrant species in Manhattan, but overall the day 
was a “slower” one by almost any standard of May birding.  The Yellow-breasted 
Chat continued on in a favored part of the Central Park Ramble, & at least one 
of the several recent Summer Tanagers also did.

Some of the lingering migrants in smaller parks & greenspaces in lower 
Manhattan included the following warblers:  Prairie, Northern Parula, 
Black-and-white, Blackburnian, American Redstart, Black-throated Blue, 
Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, Wilson’s, Yellow, Ovenbird, 
and Common Yellowthroat. 
Friday, 5/22 -  Thursday night allowed a great many more migrants to move on, 
all around the region.

A (singing) male Hooded Warbler was found & observed by a number of 
north-Manhattan birders along Cabrini Blvd’s. wooded area, essentially a part 
of the southwestern sector of Fort Tryon Park. 

At least one Semiplamated Sandpiper was photographed (N.O’Reilly; add’l. obs. 
also incl. J.DeCostanzo, D.Karlson, et al) on the mudflats off Inwood Hill 
Park’s n. shore for a nice documented/public record of that species in 
Manhattan this month. That locale has been easily the best (of the 
regularly-watched sites) in the county for shorebirds so far this year.

Our two Tanager species have continued to be seen in at least Central Park and 
for Summer Tanager, another was again seen and photographed at Battery Park 
([C.Williams], by the bee-hives, which it seems will often attract that species 
in various places), & Scarlet has been found in multiple locations still, 
including males. A male Summer that has continued to be reported from Central 
Park could this time possibly be a different individual to prior recent 
sightings there, however more than one had been in that park for some days.  
And a Yellow-breasted Chat was again reported from the Ramble in Central Park, 
and in a slightly different location to most of the recent sightings and 
presumed the same now-long-lingering bird.  Also, both Yellow-billed & 
Black-billed Cuckoos were found in at least Central Park.

Modest numbers of later-moving Catharus thrush could be heard singing as well 
as some calling, from the wee hours of the night (high fly-overs) as well as 
from the ground in several parks from first-light on through a good chunk of 
the morning, in select areas. These included a reasonable number of 
Gray-cheeked & Swainson’s, & at least one singing Bicknell’s. Parks I visited 
included Central, Riverside, and Morningside.   At least 1-dozen warbler spp., 
which included multiples of Blackpoll & Canada, both typical of later-parts of 
spring migration… with a scattering of others that may be a bit earlier in 
arriving - such as Nashville.  And there were still some boreal-breeders among 
the warblers, in addition to Blackpolls, some Cape May & Bay-breasted as well 
as Tennessee in several places / parks.

Saturday, 5/23 - A changeover to southerly winds, with some light showers also 
pushing up from N.J. & Pennsylvania in the early evening of Friday.  Plenty of 
migration happened - and plenty of that went on past Manhattan & perhaps on 
thru N.J. and points west, as well as overflight, neither especially new or 
uncommon. Some additional exodus took place, & yet some birds were still 
lingering on - case in point, a Yellow-breasted Chat at the Central Park 
Ramble.  Also, I paid a visit to Bryant Park in midtown & there, in 35 minutes, 
saw: E. Towhee (male & female), Gray Catbirds (5, including 4 all in one area), 
Hermit Thrush (now quite late for N.Y. City), Swamp Sparrow, White-throated 
Sparrow (minimum of ten, with up to 6 seen at one time when some came out for 
crumbs along with Passer domesticus ‘gangs’), and 3 warbler species, a 
loudly-singing male Blackpoll, 2 Ovenbirds both of which gave the impression 
they might know that park quite well by now, & 2 Common Yellowthroats… n.b. I 
did not check absolutely every little nook and area, & not the 5th Ave. side of 
the sector at all.

Later at Randall’s Island, a quick pass thru most of the areas showed that most 
Brant had picked up & moved on; I found 4 Atlantic Brant in one spot. There 
were mostly probable-possible nesting species (yes, including baby Killdeer and 
parents) & some visitors such as both Night-Herons & Great Egrets, as well as a 
smattering of gulls and ‘usual' swallows. Lots of mowing was in-progress there, 
so some fields were not checked out all that closely. The scant migrants I 
found did include a White-eyed Vireo (singing) in one location, which is at 
least a potential breeder, but we will see.   Interesting in a way, for some of 
Manhattan’s parks, there was a sense of one-month-earlier, as Yellow Warbler 
again became an almost singular song heard (or females, calling & seen as well) 
although the scant Blackpoll & Canada & some other warblers also fairly 
ruled-out April 23 as if all-migrations were on rewind. Yet singing Song 
Sparrows in many places also added to the odd sense, at least on my route 
(pre-rains, to the Battery, East River sites, lower Manhattan - Tompkins Square 
& the alphabet-ave’s., Washington & Union Squares & the above-noted Bryant 
Park. Later in scattered rain, some exploration of Central & Riverside Parks: 
these as ‘quiet’ as I recalled them in weeks, for passage-migrants that is.  
Still roaming & in numbers were Cedar Waxwings, a small number of which may set 
up and nest in local parks. Far more are & will continue on as migrants, for 
May & perhaps into early June; many waxwings can be later-breeders, and love to 
have fruits ripening as young are coming out as fledgeling - in some places, 
early fruits can include mulberries. Of course as for so many migrant & 
resident birds, insects & other arthropods are a very important component of 
diet and will be eaten opportunistically as available.

There were no-doubt more migrants about but with a bit less of enthusiasm for 
all-day watching in cool & rainy weather, and after so much migrant passage in 
the prior 2 weeks+ here. 

Sunday. 5/24 - A change in the weather… return to stronger winds from the N-E, 
and still some rain in the local region early the prior night…. and some birds 
that have been in the area already, plus at least a few possibly arrived 
through the night.  

A Yellow-breasted Chat was still in the Ramble of Central Park hopefully to 
remain as long as it likes without anything bothering it. It’s been mostly at 
the eastern-sector in the Ramble. A Yellow-crowned Night-Heron also has 
continued, an uncommonly long stay for that species in that park as well. The 
usual Black-crowned Night-Herons are about, and can be seen most readily after 
sunset or pre-dawn hours, when they may be out feeding, &/or flying in to 
roosts. The night-herons don’t nest in Central Park.

Some Common Terns that have been sighted occasionally were again, along the 
East River, just north of the bridges to Brooklyn on the Manhattan waterfront. 
(We don’t have access yet to Governors Island, where terns are most-regularly 
seen in N.Y. County, and usually some good counts have been made in-season.)

Encouraging - at least a little - for some further passage-migrant drop-ins in 
the county, some Tennessee Warblers were again being found in several parks; 
also ongoing were still a couple of Cape May & Bay-breasted, plus 
now-much-expected Blackpoll Warblers, along with at least 14 additional warbler 
spp. - Blue-winged, Northern Parula, Yellow, Black-and-white, Magnolia, 
Black-throated Blue, Chestnut-sided, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Wilson’s, 
Common Yellowthroat & even the ‘scarce’ Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] - the latter 
maybe a sign that there IS yet more migration on the way… & of course there is, 
at least 2 further weeks or more for the flow of land-birds alone.  Chimney 
Swifts were more in evidence, this day. Both cuckoo species were also, albeit 
in very low number.

Monday, Memorial Day, 5/25 - A HUGE migration… with perhaps 99.99% of that 
moving past, northbound well west of N.Y. City & vicinity, on Sunday night into 
Monday. Even so, a little fresh migration into the city, some of that having 
been coastal movement: just not all that much, in comparison with the flood of 
birds seen a bit to the west.  The day began with 3+ hours of fairly thick 
cloud-cover, a bit of a mist, & a light easterly whiff of not-quite-a-breeze… 
but at least, a temperature well above the 40’s. (F.) - and some birds.

And diversity did come back up a bit at least in some parks, notably those in 
northern Manhattan, & numbers of some typically-common species also were up - & 
migration is ongoing, after all.   There were at least 25 spp. of American 
warblers found in the four days of this report, and at least 22 of the species 
were seen on Monday, Memorial Day, albeit some perhaps only singly or in scant 
no’s., but at least 8 spp. were found in double-digit no’s. on the 1 day only, 
5/25 - meaning ten or more of that species were seen in multiple locations, and 
collectively but by separate locations & observers.)   That long-lingering 
Y.-br. Chat was still in Central Park.  Also uncommon for the county, & 
lingering, were at least 2 Yellow-crowned Night-Herons.   There was at least 
slight or modest diurnal movement on 5/25, including Osprey, B. Eagle, & both 
of our vulture spp. as well as some D.-cr. Cormorant flight & v. early-a.m. 
Loon movement of what looked to be all Common Loons, all northbound.  It was 
good to see & hear just slightly more than a few Red-eyed Vireo, although 
numbers of that species have lacked on many days of May when usually amongst 
the more common on passage… and with not too much of May now remaining… seems 
likely many managed to bypass this county to get where they wanted to - a very 
few may stay & breed here, however.   At least one Summer Tanager continued in 
Central Park (a male), while it is very possible more than one has continued. 

Species seen (&/or heard) in the 4 days of this report period for N.Y. County, 
including Manhattan & Randall’s Islands -

Canada Goose
[Atlantic] Brant (almost all have moved on by Memorial Day)
Wood Duck (at least 1: drake, ongoing at Central Park Meer)
Gadwall (multiple)
American Black Duck
Red-throated Loon (possibly; flights on 5/22, 5/25 observed)
Common Loon (small no’s. seen moving north, early flights, esp. 5/22)
Double-crested Cormorant (rather common, & some diurnal flight too)
Great Blue Heron (several)
Great Egret (multiple)
Snowy Egret (multiple, most are fly-bys and seen daily)
Green Heron (multiple & nesting now)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (multiple)
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (one ongoing at Central Park Lake-shore; at least 
one by Randall’s Island; poss. others about)
Glossy Ibis (a report from 5/22 moving west, in-flight)
Black Vulture (Memorial Day, Mon. - 5/25)
Turkey Vulture (several - on several days)
Osprey (few sightings)
Bald Eagle (scant sightings)
Red-tailed Hawk (residents, some with hatchlings or poss. near-fledglings)
Killdeer (family at Randall’s Island, 2 add’l. elsewhere)
Solitary Sandpiper (Central Park)
Spotted Sandpiper (multiple)
Semipalmated Sandpiper (1, photographed; seen by at least 3 observers, Inwood 
Hill Park, 5/22)
Least Sandpiper (several)
American Woodcock (one, late or poss. lingering)
Laughing Gull (multiple)
Ring-billed Gull
[American] Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Common Tern (several, East River locations, south Manhattan waterfront)
['feral'] Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
American Kestrel (city resident, & breeding)
Peregrine Falcon (city resident, & breeding)
Black-billed Cuckoo (several)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (multiple, but not many)
Eastern Screech-Owl (a Manhattan resident)
Common Nighthawk (few - or more than? -thru 5/24)
Chimney Swift (good movement as of Sunday, 5/24)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (multiple locations)
Belted Kingfisher (‘lingering')
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (still a few in Manhattan, v. late lingerers!)
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker (rather scarce)
Yellow-shafted Flicker (multiple)
Olive-sided Flycatcher (relatively few)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (multiple; increased v. slightly thru the period)
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Acadian Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Willow 
Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher (var. Empidonax sightings, all the regular 5 spp. 
have been thru but some in scant no’s.; Least & Willow by far the 
most-recognized by songs &/or calls so far this spring in N.Y. County)
Eastern Phoebe (at least one… lingering, or?)
Great Crested Flycatcher (multiple - not that many)
Eastern Kingbird (multiple)
White-eyed Vireo (at least 2 locations, Manhattan & Randall’s Island)
Blue-headed Vireo (getting late, as of 5/22)
Yellow-throated Vireo (to at least 5/22)
Warbling Vireo (fairly common)
Red-eyed Vireo (a slight increase thru 5/25)
Blue Jay (fairly common)
Common Raven (few reports, but lingering in several regular areas)
American Crow
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow (common)
Black-capped Chickadee (‘rare’)
Tufted Titmouse (scant)
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (scant now; a scarce breeeder in N.Y. County)
Veery (very few to 5/25)
Gray-cheeked Thrush (multiple, but not many to 5/25)
Bicknell's Thrush (some possible on sight-only; v. few heard)
Swainson's Thrush (multiple, but far fewer lingering to 5/25)
Hermit Thrush (one or two reports, very late by now)
Wood Thrush (multiple; the Catharus sp. that breeds in N.Y. County)
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher (still a few in ‘odd' locations, smaller greenspaces of 
Manhattan, & etc.)
European Starling
House Sparrow 
Cedar Waxwing (good movements continued, hundreds in total for the 4-day 
period; some are lingering)
Summer Tanager (multiple sightings & photos, minimum of 5 individuals in 5 
separate locations)
Scarlet Tanager (multiple, and small no’s. continued into Monday Memorial Day, 
Eastern Towhee (late, presumed stragglers, this species has been a scarce 
breeder in the county)
Chipping Sparrow (few, likely those still being seen may be attempting to or 
are breeding / nesting)
Field Sparrow (several, late)
Song Sparrow (multiple)
Lincoln's Sparrow (a few thru the period, getting a bit late)
Swamp Sparrow (few thru period, getting a bit late)
White-throated Sparrow (multiple: 30+++ for all of Manhattan, however some 
often summer with NO breeding at all)
Purple Finch (1 or 2 reports, uncommon so far into May here)
House Finch (common & widespread)
American Goldfinch (still numerous, a small no. may also nest)
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (a few lingering or simply going thru a bit late)
Indigo Bunting (several locations, somewhat late lingerers, or - a now-rare 
nester in the county)
Bobolink (modest no’s. passing thru the period but prob. most already thru)
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole (small no’s., an uncommon breeder in the county)
Baltimore Oriole (lower no’s. from prior reports, a regular breeder; also some 
are non-breeding & stay for the summer)
Yellow-breasted Chat (ongoing single bird in Central Park’s Ramble all thru the 
period, long-lingering)
BIRDS, more subtle to see or follow by ear!)
* Orange-crowned Warbler (a few *reports*)
Blue-winged Warbler (very scant thru 5/24)
Tennessee Warbler (still some thru 5/25)
Nashville Warbler (few still passing thru)
Northern Parula (multiple)
Yellow Warbler (multiple; also potentially breeds)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (multiple, but not very many)
Magnolia Warbler (multiple, yet not that many)
Cape May Warbler (scant no’s. by 5/25)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (multiple to 5/25)
Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] Warbler (few, yet still to 5/25)
Black-throated Green Warbler (few)
Blackburnian Warbler (few, but can be missed w/ females still passing, some v. 
high in dense foliage)
Prairie Warbler (few)
Bay-breasted Warbler (presumed few by 5/25)
Blackpoll Warbler (multiple although still not truly common on any day this 
month here in N.Y. County)
Black-and-white Warbler (multiple, esp. of females lately)
American Redstart (multiple)
Worm-eating Warbler (at least a few, thru 5/25 - breeds in areas within 15 
Ovenbird (multiple; including some in very small areas, pocket-parks & so forth)
Northern Waterthrush (modest no’s. of this fairly-common passage migrant)
Mourning Warbler (several silent birds, incl. at least 1 or more definite 
Common Yellowthroat (multiple; this species makes some nesting-attempts in the 
county annually)
Hooded Warbler (scant by now)
Wilson's Warbler (much reduced by 5/25)
Canada Warbler (multiple)

Insect & arthropod life is very much in the biomass - as these creatures are 
what a great many of the above birds are feeding on. An increase in the variety 
/ diversity is being noted in general of many arthropods, which should increase 
further with expected warmth and some additional humidity, &/or showers. 
Leaf-out of trees and shrubs continues, as does flowering & some fruiting of 
many plants. It’s been tougher seeing the birds that like to remain high in 
taller trees; the usual for late May onward!  Sun & warmer weather will bring 
some birds in to bathe or drink, however.

- - - - -
"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”.)

good and ongoing safe-protocols-thru-summer birding,

Tom Fiore


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