Queens, New York, May 2009
May is the month of migration in North America. Sure, some species move earlier and, of course, in the fall everything turns around and goes the other way, but May stands out as the month when birds that haven’t been seen since the previous fall come back in natty new breeding plumage and blow birders’ minds again the same way they did the previous spring (and the spring before that and the spring before that and so on and so forth). My spring has been pretty amazing so far with 146 species spotted since April 1 and Cerulean, Worm-eating, and Yellow-throated Warblers and a host of other species spotted before May even arrived, but the first couple of days in May have been even better. Just take a look at some of the pictures I digiscoped in the first two days of May to get an idea of how great a month May is in the Borough of Queens, New York City.
Brown Thrashers like the one at Jamaica Bay above, are back to breed in Queens
White-crowned Sparrows refuel in Queens on their way north
Yellow Warblers are back and singing on breeding territories
Ovenbirds forage in the leaf litter before making their way north
resident Canada Geese don’t go anywhere and get a head start on breeding
Summer Tanagers now breed in New York State, though most are likely overshoots
Scarlet Tanagers definitely breed in New York State and it is great to see them back
Great Crested Flycatchers’ “weep weep” call make them easy to find on migration
though some winter, Gray Catbirds are now around in numbers
it won’t be long before the pendulous nests of Baltimore Orioles are hanging from trees
I love May! And here’s hoping that your May is as fine as mine…97 species in the first three days of the month and 28 days of May still to come!
This post was first published on 04 May 2009 but a post like this shouldn’t be left to languish in the archives!