Welcome, Chihuahuan Meadowlark (!) to the list of species for the United States 
and parts of Mexico, an elevation from the longtime status of what was often 
called “Lilian’s” meadowlark but now is given a new scientific status 
[Sturnella lilianae] and which had been considered -until now- a subspecies / 
form-of Eastern Meadowlark. And congratulations to Johanna K. Beam*, doctoral 
candidate and researcher who did much work on this taxon most recently, 
publishing a paper which made the argument convincing checklist-committees that 
this should be the continent’s newest full avian species to be named. From 
Toewes Lab at Penn. State University (& previously at Univ. of 
Colorado-Boulder), *runbirdgirl (‘tweets’) has made meadowlarks in North 
America worth a further listen and a long look. The non-profit American Birding 
Association’s link will take you to an update (a.k.a., Supplement) in the 
American Ornithological Society’s [i.e. A.O.S.]’ newest updates to the official 
list of birds for the continent -  
<https://www.aba.org/aos-supplement-redux-2022/>   This does not make a change 
to the status of Western Meadowlark. It can be seen as a ’split’, in 
taxonomic-lingo, of the Eastern Meadowlark (common English name) and the split 
coming with the new species, named Chihuahuan for parts of the general range it 
may be expected in, which is both a state (a political area) of northern 
Mexico, and more-broadly [called] for biological observations, a broader region 
with a distinct set of characters and many specialized life-forms, in the area 
we in the U.S. often call “the Southwest” in a very-much generalized sense. The 
other two meadowlark species (of N. America) - Eastern, and Western, are also 
found into Mexico; and for the Eastern even-beyond, into northern South 
America- esp, north-eastern Colombia and northern Venezuela; also (other) 
“meadowlarks”, as so-named include some additional species found in parts of 
South America, with at least one of those (in a genus not the same as our North 
American species of meadowlarks) making it into parts of Costa Rica, in Central 
America.  Other readers may have a finer set of points on this very-newly 
elevated North America species. I also believe the full article [proposing this 
as a species] from (and *copyright by*) the A.O.S. as authored by Beam, Funk, 
and Taylor is available here: 
<https://academic.oup.com/auk/article/138/2/ukab004/6249548> (this was so for 
me in a standard browser and with no special-access); also: n.b. the 
’supplemental data’ file is located near the bottom of the above paper on-line 
and I was also able to freely access that information, which may be of most 
interest to those who read the paper in full. All of this is the paper which 
appears to have most-influenced the choice made by the N.A.C.C. (in brief, the 
checklist committee) for the inclusion as a species -by the A.O.S.- to North 
American birds.  The field identification of 'quiet-meadowlarks’ in some areas 
will perhaps be a bit of a challenge.

The [Siberian-form] Bar-tailed Godwit was again being seen off Cupsogue Beach 
County Park in Suffolk County, NY into Thursday, 8/4, with multiple observers 
for that morning’s tide-cycle.

- - -
With that ‘Great White Heron’ ongoing to 8/4 in Piermont, Rockland County, NY 
and some possible uptick in numbers of egrets and other wading-birds into the 
northeast, it could be worth keeping in mind Reddish Egret in addition, a 
species which is rare in N.Y. state but could (and has) occur[ed] there, and 
elsewhere into the northeast.  And just as an additional note, while well-west 
of all of NYS, a Limpkin was continuing at least to 8/3 (many many observers) 
in LaPorte County, Indiana, which adjoins Lake Michigan & not a great distance 
east of Chicago, IL.

-  -  -  -  - 
New York County (in N.Y. City), including Manhattan, Randall’s Island, and 
Governors Island & the skies & waters adjacent
Wednesday, August 3rd, and Thursday, August 4th -

Mainly just an update on some migration pushing on through, with some lingering 
species as well. Some of the early a.m. flights, including previous to this 
report’s period, have included a good many birds passing over and high enough / 
early enough / already passing to west of Manhattan island over the western 
side of the island - that the bulk of migrants can be termed flyovers & some 
not very identifiable beyond 'general sizes or shapes’… with only a modest 
amount of drop-in arrival noted, and relatively-modest lower-&-closer flyovers, 
in early hours.

At least 4 Lesser Yellowlegs were noted on the flats at Inwood Hill Park’s 
mudflats, off the north end of that park which is nearest to W. 215th St., west 
of Broadway on Wed. on Thursday, with some later-arriving seekers finding fewer 
of that species there,; other shorebirds around the county included Spotted, 
Least, and Semipalmated Sandpipers, and a modest no. of Killdeer, all in areas 
where somewhat expected.

Increases were seen for a number of migrant (as opposed to mostly-resident) 
species, including Black-and-white Warblers, American Redstarts, and Louisiana 
Waterthrushes, with other warblers also showing including Yellow Warblers (in 
fairly good no’s. still on the move, if slowing by Thursday), Northern 
Waterthrushes (same), and a couple of Prairie Warblers (newly, it seems) by 
Thursday, plus the ongoing (summering) few Ovenbirds, as well as (some perhaps 
having tried breeding) Common Yellowthroats. There’ve been some flybys of 
warblers in the early mornings (and of course, thru overnight hours) with some 
certainly Yellow, and other warbler spp., a few of which likely additional to 
the species noted above, some of which species seen priorly in this year’s 
southbound-migration, and a few ‘possibles' that have not been noted thus far.  
An unusual find as a seeming migrator this “soon", a White-breasted Nuthatch 
appeared to be one of the many small birds passing & then crossing the Hudson 
river, northeast to SW, on Wed. morning, 8/3. Indicator of…(?) what, if 
anything may remain to be learned as the south-bounders season goes on, and 
increases. [This week, at least 5 species of warblers have been seen in areas 
some distance from breeding ranges & almost-certainly southbound migrants, 
which for some are rather early for their respective latudinal-locations in the 
eastern U.S., they include Tennessee, Cape May, Bay-breasted, Wilson’s, and 
finally Myrtle [Yellow-rumped] with the latter’s (several) sightings south of 
any typical breeding areas of that species. One of the Tennessees this week was 
photographed well in West Virginia, however of all of these five, that species 
may be first to begin moving in the southward direction for this season. One of 
the multiple Yellow-rumped / Myrtle Warblers seen in this week passing south 
was photographed at Lido Beach, Nassau County NY on 8/2 [D. Salas] - & again 
this represents a certain migrant for that site.

Ongoing but perhaps-fewer Cliff Swallows for N.Y. County out at the nesting 
area on Randall’s Island, while almost all swallow / martin species have been 
moving on or at-least moving-around recently (in general and specific to N.Y. 
County), the most-noticeable component of all have been, as is typical here, 
Barn Swallows some of which may even be noticed at times over the urban streets 
and boulevards, when on the move.  Chimney Swifts also continue to mass, and 
some have been moving on.

The midsummer icterid flights continued with a fairly low count of Red-winged 
Blackbird and Brown-headed Cowbird, plus a couple of Orchard Orioles on Wed., 
and an apparently lacking flight for Thursday, for the county, while some 
Chimney Swifts again were on the move on both days.  (However, some observers 
found very good -for the date- no’s. of blackbirds, mainly Red-winged 
Blackbirds moving on the morning of 8/4, & from other points in N.Y. City.)  
The arrivals of Ring-billed Gull continued for N.Y. County, although still in 
modest numbers compared with the expectations for later in this month.  
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were ongoing in small no’s. for Wed. in southbound 

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron[s] have been ongoing at Randall’s Island (in 
particular) which is the likeliest area in the county to see the species, if 
not always a sure bet. Far more widespread and common, Black-crowned 
Night-Heron can be seen from many sites and esp. so in evenings, or very early 
in pre-dawn hours on their ways to-from roosts & favored feeding locations. 

- - 
An intriguing report for a Monk Parakeet was made for the southern part of 
Central Park, on 8/2, and that species has certainly occurred in that park; 
also however in the past week have been more than a couple of sightings of 
Budgerigars, which is slightly-unusual in that the sightings were of more than 
just 1 individual, and of more than 1 of the color-forms of that commonly-kept 
cage-bird which also regularly show as escapees (or perhaps releases) in the 
county and the wider region, at odd & unexpected times. Monk Parakeet a rather 
stockier and much-different sounding species as compared with the fast-flying 
“Budgie”, but still a chance of mistaking one for another in some situations. 
As well, in N.Y. County alone, there have been dozens of different species of 
birds in the parrot-family that have been noted in-flight &/or perching, over 
the years and including a great many sightings (of many species) from Central 
Park, almost all deemed as escapees or releases (as compared with 
established-in-the-region even-if-not-orginating-on-the-northern-continent Monk 
Parakeets, a native of South America where still regularly found in proper 
locales) from captivity, and often demonstrably so, as owners or others have 
lured some back to the cages or homes from which they’d flown. Monk Parakeet 
has nested on Manhattan, and perhaps over-the-years elsewhere in N.Y. County, 
and is a well-known nesting species in all of the other 4 NYC counties, if 
'best-known' from a few localities in Brooklyn / Kings, NY; also that species 
has seemingly increased into southern New England coastal and near-coastal 
areas, and is established in some places in New Jersey. 

And a quite-unusual sight for midsummer in N.Y. City and the county called New 
York, a Hermit Thrush was reported from Central Park on 7/31, which could raise 
the question of either a shy quiet skulker of a summer-lingerer, or 
just-as-possibly a wanderer from perhaps one of the closer of breeding areas 
for that species which are vastly-less than a single night’s hop-away in flight 
for that songbird, which is not known to breed in any part of the city. The one 
Catharus-type thrush which is a regular (and expected) breeder in the city each 
season is Wood Thrush. Further, in any expected phenologies, Hermit Thrush is 
the last / latest in southbound migration or later-season movement to show in 
N.Y. City (and in general) compared with all of the other ‘brown-backed’ North 
American breeding thrushes. One further interesting aspect of this sighting 
would be: was this a form of Hermit Thrush that typically breeds in the 
northeastern part of the continent, or one from much farther-west, a question 
that (at the least) would wish for very crisp and detailed photos & perhaps 
very-detailed notes if any observations had been extensive.

Good birding, and be safe in heat & humidity,

Tom Fiore
[N.Y. City, and points-north]


NYSbirds-L List Info:

1) http://www.mail-archive.com/nysbirds-l@cornell.edu/maillist.html
2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L
3) http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01

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