Wrapping up the Migration

by Aden Troyer | May 1, 2024 | 0 comments

By the third week in May, bird migration is winding down. The resident birds are nesting or even feeding young. It’s time to check several areas where unusual or rare birds have been reported.

My friend Alan and I left early one frosty morning, heading south into the next county. On a power line cut through heavy hardwood forests, the right-of-way was covered with low bushes. Here we found Common Yellowthroat, Northern Mockingbird, Eastern Towhee, Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers, Field Sparrow, and our target bird, the Lawrence’s Warbler. He was very cooperative, hopping around in great lighting, giving us good looks.

We also heard and saw Ovenbird, Great-crested Flycatcher, Eastern Wood-Peewee, and a loud-calling Red-shouldered Hawk. Even a Barred Owl sounded off in the woods.

Our next stop at a country church with large trees around the parking lot rewarded us with a pair of Eurasian Collared-Doves, making their three-syllable cooo calls.

A few miles farther into more open country, we heard a Vesper Sparrow call several times from a hay field.

Dropping into a wooded hollow and into the next field, we found a pair of Blue Grosbeaks. We heard them calling for a while before we actually saw one. It was perched in a small tree much closer than we thought, and we had simply overlooked this pretty blue bird.

On our way home, we crossed a mountain on a dirt road where we stopped several times to listen. The locals were very vocal today—Scarlet Tanager, Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Black-throated Green and Black-and-white Warblers, Chipping Sparrow, and others.

Arriving home, we found a very late Pine Siskin at our feeders! We had counted more than seventy species in just a few hours.

Listening to the birds’ songs, seeing their beautiful colors, enjoying the lovely May morning—this was going to be a good day.

Blue-winged Warbler
Blue-winged Warbler. Photo © Darren Shank.

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