Addendum to prior evenings - just before imposed curfews by the state & city of 
New York, Common Nighthawks were observed, on Sunday, May 31st as well as 
Tuesday, June 2nd. Some of the nighthawks came thru well before sunset, each of 
those evenings.  And there were also tens if not hundreds of thousands of New 
Yorkers out well into the night, in the big city & beyond. 

There was a slightly-late Lincoln’s Sparrow in Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan 
(& photo’d on 5/31 by R.Davis), and still present into June there - as were at 
least 3 other sparrow species - Swamp, Song, & (multiple) White-throated 
Sparrows, plus American Woodcock & a few warblers of which most have lingered 
on in other summers in odd-spots in mid or lower Manhattan; this one park in 
particular has a lot of out-of-date-range records for a variety of migrants. 
(Other city parks may see similar phenomena.)

Also of some note, a Yellow-throated Vireo was seen singing in Manhattan on 
6/2; the species has nested -albeit only rarely- on Manhattan island, but this 
spring in particular, there seems a fair chance this could still be a late-late 
lingerer, or perhaps could simply be a non-breeder this year (as some other 
long-lingering or even summering migrants have done in Manhattan in previous 
summers, going back into many decades of local records-keeping). Some further 
notes in the daily sightings below, on similar possible ‘late’ occurrences of 
migrants and other birds.

—
Manhattan (part of N.Y. County, in N.Y. City)
Wed., June 3rd through Saturday, June 6th:

—
Wed., 6/3 - As winds continued from southwest & west, some showers & a few 
light storms rolled through in the overnight from Tues. night on. The day also 
brought in more humidity, warmth, & afternoon storms in the area.

For the date, even if still very early June, a somewhat impressive degree of 
diversity in the push of birds that arrived &/or were at least moving-on 
locally, with some odd &/or ‘late’ migrants among various 
typically-later-in-spring species.  At least 2 Blue-headed Vireos in Central 
Park, even if just very-late/long-lingering now, were of note, and at the same 
time as some Red-eyed Vireos appear to still be passing through while others 
set up in territories.  

Also seeming a odd & quite late, an Eastern Whip-poor-will was found in a tree 
while looking up for the Common Nighthawks that had setlled in same area; it is 
long-past time that whip-poor-wills even nesting far north have begun that 
cycle.  The at least 4 Mourning Warblers in one park (again, Central) were not 
surprising for the date, and given that species occurrence in other local parks 
on same date & a day or two prior; the lingering or still-passing-thru Northern 
Parulas (in the multiple), and at least two Black-throated Green Warblers (one 
a male) were a bit more unexpected by the 3rd of June. However it’s clear that 
a lot of migrants were delayed, some possibly by as much as 2 weeks - a lot of 
time in the spring’s northbound migrations - on various points & parts of the 
routes they follow north. We also see a fair number of individual birds 
lingering much more than is likely a typical stay on a migration ‘drop-in’ just 
to feed & rest a while… and in Manhattan, one could wonder if at least some of 
these longer-lingering individuals suffered some shock, possibly having had 
building-collisions or other mishap, but were able to at least carry forward in 
a greenspace, whether small or larger. There is at least modest evidence 
suggesting this may happen more than is popularly realized. 

Blue Grosbeak (1st-spring male), Summer Tanager (1st-spring male) & at least 
ten American warbler species including female Blackburnian were in Riverside 
Park, in areas that seem to be a bit less-birded. The Blue Grosbeak was near a 
tennis courts & parkling area off the W. Side Hwy. at about 93rd Street, & was 
not being all that shy. Some of the warblers seen were as far north as 
122-124th Streets ‘latitude’ near the steeper slope. There was a reliable 
report of Olive-sided Flycatcher out along E. 42nd Street in Manhattan.

In some ways, there seem (& not just-now, but often) to be at least several 
situations with migration, esp. in the peak months (now coming to a close, 
presumably!) in Manhattan sites, especially but perhaps in some ways relevant 
to other locations… with at the same time, regular influx & exodus of many 
migrants, while there also can be lingerers that don’t get going, some for even 
weeks at a stretch, although most in something like 5-8 days or so; & also 
various types of migration simultaneously, in part for certain species which 
seem to be more-specific in timing and poss. even in 
flight-path/routings/headings, & then of course also the ‘accidental’ add-ins, 
those birds that seem a bit, or more than a bit, out-of-place… i.e. a Central 
Park Kirtland’s Warbler in a prior spring, etc. - and we do also have some 
breeding species even in Manhattan which spend winters in the neotropics; 
diversity is not-high for those as breeders in New York County but their 
arrivals & readying for nesting time is also a part of the multitude of 
activities of birds here in spring. 

—
Thursday, 6/4 - Overnight from Wednesday, ongoing warm-frontal showers & storms 
continued, then cleared away, allowing for some migrants to move in the 
later-night hours into the morning. Temperatures grew very warm as humidity 
also climbed, to some of the highest combined levels of the year so far.

Most surprising bird that I saw this morning was a Common Loon, heading due 
north & not hugely-high in the very early sky; I’m aware that these can rather 
rarely even be found summering in southeastern-most NY, but I’ve almost never 
seen a flyover from Manhattan this far into the spring. The bird was in what 
looked to be full alternate (breeding) plumage.

A good day for cuckoos, with up to four Black-billed in Central Park, at least 
2 in Riverside Park (north of 96th St.) & also at least two Yellow-billed, both 
seen moving through trees in early a.m. in Central. The Black-billed were all 
calling & were in very widely-separated areas of each park. It seems this was a 
very big movement of cuckoo for the city, or at least thru Manhattan, with both 
species we expect in migration much in evidence in multiple locations.

Perhaps a less-good day for warbler diversity, but there were still some beyond 
the very scant no’s. of possible / potential breeding birds, however clearly 
the previous evening was one of exodus-after-dark of a number of migrant 
warblers.  Even the American Redstart & the Blackpoll Warbler were in 
much-diminished numbers today. Magnolia Warbler is now (for June 4) on the 
late-ish side & about the same for N. Parula here.  Not as odd are the 
at-least-several Northern Waterthrush that are still pushing through - this 
latter species of American warbler breeds into near the arctic-habitats of 
northern Labrador & the n. edges of Newfoundland, just in terms of eastern 
North America (also far into Alaska), where I have observed them on nests, and 
bringing up young, so this is not a species that are entirely ‘needing’ to be 
in place by early June… (if anyone has had the pleasures of Labrador at that 
exact time of what we down-south call ‘spring’!)

Contrasting strongly with the previous day’s efforts, I was unable to find all 
the Mourning Warblers of 24 hrs. prior nor were the rarer Blue Grosbeak or 
Summer Tanager re-found. There were however still at least a few White-throated 
Sparrows & a very few migrant thrushes, notably several Swainson’s Thrush as 
well as a couple of Gray-cheeked (type) in both Central & Riverside Park’s n. 
sections.  And there were still a couple of Empidonax [genus], with two of them 
calling & thus ID’d. as Acadian, plus 1 perhaps a “Traill’s” species (Alder or 
Willow) remaining silent when I was observing it.  

Also somewhat notable by now have been a “few” - but poss. more than just a few 
- Indigo Buntings, some or poss. most here in Manhattan being still 
passage-migrants (time may tell as to that; the species is a fairly scarce 
breeder in the county) and this is for the 2 days of June 3 & 4, when it’s 
getting rather late for that species still moving. However, in this particular 
year, perhaps not so. The individuals seen (& not merely detected by call-note 
as fly-bys) were either females or non-alternate-plumaged males. The primary 
locations were along the Hudson river parks & greenspace.

—
Friday, 6/5 - Skies remained ‘heavy’ with humidity, with very strong storms 
again having moved by just slightly south of the region (thru much of New 
Jersey & points south), yet some migration again, both before as well as soon 
after the storms arrival & passage in the city. Winds from a southerly 
direction prevailed. Many of the migrants that were lingering may have moved on 
overnight.  At least a very few of some later-moving songbirds were still to be 
found but in what seemed scant numbers. 

One modest surprise was a singing male Rose-breasted Grosbeak in Central Park’s 
n.-e. sector. An early pass in that park revealed just 4 warbler species 
including Blackpoll, and American Redstart. A few White-throated Sparrows were 
still about, and there were also some ongoing Empidonax [genus] seen - & heard 
- later on including several singing Acadian Flycatchers in 3 locations. A 
majority of species though were either nesting, or regular/daily visitors and 
transients such as D.-cr. Cormorants, Black-crowned Night-Herons & Great Egrets 
to name 3 spp. that visit or stay a while but do not breed in Central Park. 
Snowy Egrets also continued as they will be, all summer, as mainly-flyovers & 
esp. as seen from near ‘latitudes’ of about 60th St. on thru to the north tip 
of Manhattan, but in particular along the ancient-route that follows what is 
now 125th Street, a long-ago marshy wet space & creekbed.  Yellow-crowned 
Night-Heron roosting continues around Randall’s Island, a part of N.Y. County.

 In other parks, even with far fewer observers by now, a modest selection of 
species that included a male Mourning Warbler at ‘Mourningside’ Park (S.Chang) 
& a female of the same in Riverside Park (n. sector), found later in the warm & 
gray day.

Some shorebirds & a tern or two (species) - Common Terns are on a few sites 
along the E. River, and as fly-bys, including early this dreary-damp a.m. - & 
shorebirds of at least 3 species - Killdeer in a couple of locations (including 
where they’d nested successfully) as well as Least and Spotted Sandpipers, just 
very slightly ‘late’.  There also are terns as seen from the Battery around 
Governors Island (with a scope) however, they’re just on the list as 
‘poss.-Commons', also possible, have been Forster’s off in that direction, at 
least earlier in the spring. 

—
Saturday, 6/6 - A storm system passed through especially south of the city and 
slowly moved east through the prior night. Most of whatever birds were in place 
the day before were likely still n same areas of Manhattan for this day. 

At least several Cuckoos were again seen or heard in Manhattan, more of them 
Yellow-billed.  The numbers of warbler species were again quite limited, and 
only a few species were in any nunbers at all - Blackpoll, Yellow, American 
Redstart, and Common Yellowthroat. Much less-expected this late in spring were 
Blackburnian and Chestnut-sided Warblers in 2 locations, while a Mourning 
Warbler, still at one location, was not as much a surprise. Reported from 
Central Park was a singing Pine Warbler (D.Barrett) which is extraordinarily 
late in that park, & might be sought again to see what if anything develops, 
perhaps a very straggling or non-breeding bird, which does happen annually with 
a variety of migrants, esp. some warblers that breed in the local region, in 
that & some other NYC-parks.  

A few Empidonax were again found & of those at least 2 species were noted, 
thanks to being heard: Alder, and Acadian Flycatchers in 2 different areas, 
with a likely Acadian (seen & unheard) in another park. Most if not all of 
other flycatchers noted were some breeding species of Manhattan and N.Y. 
County, a few Willow Flycatchers that are still in the same area might be 
watched for signs of potential nesting, along with many many other possible or 
already nesting / nested birds.

A very-INcomplete list of species noted for the past week or so in N.Y. County 
includes:

Wood Duck,  Gadwall,  American Black Duck,  Mallard,  'ex-Canadian’ Canada 
Goose,  Common Loon,  Double-crested Cormorant,  Great Blue Heron,  Great 
Egret,  Snowy Egret,  Green Heron,  Black-crowned Night-Heron,  Yellow-crowned 
Night-Heron,  Black Vulture,  Turkey Vulture,  Osprey,  Bald Eagle,  Red-tailed 
Hawk,  Killdeer,  Spotted Sandpiper,  Least Sandpiper,  American Woodcock,  
Laughing Gull,  Ring-billed Gull,  [American] Herring Gull,  Great Black-backed 
Gull,  Common Tern, [Sterna sp. - poss. Forster's Tern],  ['feral'] Rock 
Pigeon,  Mourning Dove,  American Kestrel,  Peregrine Falcon,  Black-billed 
Cuckoo,  Yellow-billed Cuckoo,  Common Nighthawk,  E. Whip-poor-will (very 
late),  Chimney Swift,  Ruby-throated Hummingbird,  Belted Kingfisher,  
Red-bellied Woodpecker,  Downy Woodpecker,  Hairy Woodpecker,  Yellow-shafted 
Flicker,  Olive-sided Flycatcher,  Eastern Wood-Pewee,  Yellow-bellied 
Flycatcher,  Acadian Flycatcher,  Alder Flycatcher,  Willow Flycatcher,  Great 
Crested Flycatcher,  Eastern Kingbird,  Blue-headed Vireo (late), 
Yellow-throated Vireo (‘late’, if not nest-attempt),  Warbling Vireo,  Red-eyed 
Vireo,  Blue Jay,  American Crow,  Fish Crow,  Tree Swallow,  Northern 
Rough-winged Swallow,  Barn Swallow,  Black-capped Chickadee (very scarce),  
Tufted Titmouse,  White-breasted Nuthatch,  Carolina Wren,  House Wren,  
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (nest),  Gray-cheeked Thrush, and [Bicknell’s-type 
Thrush],  Swainson's Thrush,  Wood Thrush,  American Robin,  Gray Catbird,  
Northern Mockingbird,  Brown Thrasher,  European Starling,  House Sparrow,  
Cedar Waxwing,  Summer Tanager,  Scarlet Tanager,  Eastern Towhee (several, of 
which most may be just ‘straggling’),  Chipping Sparrow,  Field Sparrow,  Song 
Sparrow,  Lincoln's Sparrow (Bryant Park, bit unusual this late),  Swamp 
Sparrow,  White-throated Sparrow (25++ scattered about Manhattan parks & 
greenspaces, not too unusual to summer-over in the county), House Finch,  
American Goldfinch (rather scant now, can & does nest in the county),  Northern 
Cardinal,  Rose-breasted Grosbeak,  Blue Grosbeak,  Indigo Bunting,,  
Red-winged Blackbird,  Common Grackle,  Brown-headed Cowbird,  Orchard Oriole 
(ongoing, & several pairs now nesting in Manhattan),  Baltimore Oriole, & - 
Tennessee Warbler,  Northern Parula,  Yellow Warbler,  Chestnut-sided Warbler,  
Magnolia Warbler,  Cape May Warbler,  Black-throated Blue Warbler,  
Black-throated Green Warbler,  Blackburnian Warbler, [report of Pine Warbler, 
very late for location in Central Park], Bay-breasted Warbler,  Blackpoll 
Warbler,  Black-and-white Warbler,  American Redstart,  Ovenbird,  Northern 
Waterthrush,  Mourning Warbler,  Common Yellowthroat,  Wilson's Warbler,  
Canada Warbler (that is twenty warbler spp. still in the county as June comes 
fully in, which is likely indicative of the lateness of the overall peak of 
migrations of that group of migrants this spring. It was not the latest-ever in 
modern era, but overall, rather late! It can be added, likely about half of 
those warbler species noted had cleared-out by the last date of this report… 
stragglers do occur about every year, & odd ones can turn up as well.)

Good - safe and sound - birding to all,

Tom Fiore
manhattan




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