Date: 6/7/18 2:31 pm
From: Josh <opihi...>
Subject: [MASSBIRD] Acadian flycatchers across MA; also Ring-necked Duck
Hi MassBirders,

Acadian Flycatcher seems to be establishing a few breeding toeholds across western MA. I’ve been seeing reports from all three Valley counties recently, plus that big county east of the Quabbin:

Hampshire: the population at Gate 8 of the Quabbin, described in a recent post by Chris Floyd. This population has been present for at least a few years, and possibly even all the way back to Breeding Bird Atlas 1; at least, the only green spot on the BBA1 map east of Boston is in the right general neighborhood, and Veit and Peterson note a Quabbin population from the early 1980s... <>

Hampden: I’m not seeing any June reports yet, but in late May there were several eBird reports from a location near Granville, at least one of which includes a photo of a bird on its nest. Veit and Peterson mention in the southern Connecticut River valley, maybe this is the same one? <>

Franklin: Geoff LeBaron recently reported one singing on a road near Conway, which a few other birders and heard and seen since, per posts on Western Mass Birders.

Worcester: Nick Paulson posted in Central Mass Birders a couple of days ago that one was singing in Douglas State Forest.

That just leaves out Berkshire County, for now. There was confirmed breeding there per BBA2, and a 1990 record from Savoy cited in V&P.

Is it safe to assume that Acadians still nest south of Boston? I see only two eBird reports so far since June 1, one from Wompatuck SP which seems like a likely breeding spot for them.

A possible report of an even rarer breeding record for the state: Ernie LeBlanc posted to eBird recently that he observed a pair of Ring-necked Ducks in a conservation area in Royalston on May 29, and saw the male still there on June 6. He speculated that they were likely breeding. V&P mention three confirmed nesting records for the state, two of them in Ashfield (Franklin County), which is also the location of the only confirmed BBA record. I was actually at the same conservation area in Royalston last Sunday with an Athol Bird & Nature Club dragonfly outing, but we sadly missed the ducks... <> <>

The best first-hand bird sighting that I can add is that this morning, while I was reading “The Martian” with my son, he and I heard a Black-billed Cuckoo calling outside. Didn’t even have the windows open...

Good birding,


Joshua S. Rose, Ph.D.
Amherst, MA

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