As Nate pointed out on the ABA Blog yesterday, we North American birders, especially those in the east, are a tad bit obsessed with wood-warblers. I am certainly no exception. But I have tried my best to give some attention to passerines that are not wood-warblers this spring, and I think I have been at least moderately successful in taking my eyes and my optics from the gaudy wood-warblers and focusing them on gaudy birds that are not wood-warblers. Tanagers, orioles, vireos, grosbeaks, and thrushes all deserve some attention too. Just look at that Scarlet Tanager up at the top of this post! How could a birder not be captivated?

All of the photos in this post were taken in Queens in the last week. Most of them have larger versions accessible via clicking. Enjoy!

White-eyed Vireo 2

This White-eyed Vireo is perhaps the most cooperative of its species ever to exist. It hung around the waterhole at Forest Park for days, nearly always putting on a show.


The Veery lacks the songs that make Wood Thrush and Hermit Thrush so memorable, but they are still a pretty nice bird. This one was at Forest Park and I had to work hard to get a shot like this.

Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager is not a bird that I get to see every year in New York City. This year has been a good year for them, especially for young males, which are still working on getting that all-red look. This cooperative bird was around Forest Park for several days.

Baltimore Oriole 2

Everyone loves Baltimore Orioles! Well, with the exception of Yankee and Red Sox fans. This bird was spending its time at Oakland Lake but they are easily found across Queens through the nesting season.

Summer Tanager with Baltimore Oriole

What’s better than a Summer Tanager or a Baltimore Oriole? A Summer Tanager and a Baltimore Oriole! These guys were hanging out in Cunningham Park.

Gray Catbird

Gray Catbirds have not yet made me sick of them this year. It is just a matter of time. Forest Park is where I digiscoped this fine example of a catbird.

Blue-headed Vireo

I started birding after the split of Solitary Vireo so I am used to the name Blue-headed Vireo. I like the old name more. This is another bird that was hanging around Forest Park in numbers in the last week.

Remember to give non-wood-warblers a chance. You might like what you see!

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.