Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Grosbeak and Friends

Spring migration keeps chugging along, and even when weather conditions are not particularly favorable for good flights over the east coast, it is still possible to find new birds locally. Some birds, like the Red-winged Blackbird above, seem to be settling into their breeding territories on my local patch. It would not surprise me if some of the blackbirds have already nested. Yellow Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, Warbling Vireos, and Baltimore Orioles seem to be claiming territories, too. I have heard singing males of each species consistently in the same places for at least a week now.

Great-crested Flycatchers arrived on my patch more recently, but one has been hanging around the same grove for a few days. I am not sure if it is the same individual. A few others were present yesterday, in different parts of the park and calling from across the river.

One bird that is unlikely to nest in the park is this Rose-breasted Grosbeak. I see them on my patch rarely, and only during migration. There are other places locally where they would be likely to find better habitat, though. In the case of this bird, it was the song rather than the flashy colors that caught my attention. That usually seems to be the case – despite its white undersides and flashy red collar, these birds blend in quite well with the canopy. Another song that caught my attention was that of a Chestnut-sided Warbler. I did not manage to track it down to admire its spring plumage, but it was a new bird for me in Middlesex County.