Date: 8/5/22 3:54 am
From: Tom Fiore <tomfi2...>
Subject: [nysbirds-l] N.Y. County, NYC - 8/3 & 8/4: more shorebirds, warblers, etc.
Welcome, Chihuahuan Meadowlark (!) to the list of species for the United States and parts of Mexico, an elevation from the longtime status of what was often called “Lilian’s” meadowlark but now is given a new scientific status [Sturnella lilianae] and which had been considered -until now- a subspecies / form-of Eastern Meadowlark. And congratulations to Johanna K. Beam*, doctoral candidate and researcher who did much work on this taxon most recently, publishing a paper which made the argument convincing checklist-committees that this should be the continent’s newest full avian species to be named. From Toewes Lab at Penn. State University (& previously at Univ. of Colorado-Boulder), *runbirdgirl (‘tweets’) has made meadowlarks in North America worth a further listen and a long look. The non-profit American Birding Association’s link will take you to an update (a.k.a., Supplement) in the American Ornithological Society’s [i.e. A.O.S.]’ newest updates to the official list of birds for the continent - <> This does not make a change to the status of Western Meadowlark. It can be seen as a ’split’, in taxonomic-lingo, of the Eastern Meadowlark (common English name) and the split coming with the new species, named Chihuahuan for parts of the general range it may be expected in, which is both a state (a political area) of northern Mexico, and more-broadly [called] for biological observations, a broader region with a distinct set of characters and many specialized life-forms, in the area we in the U.S. often call “the Southwest” in a very-much generalized sense. The other two meadowlark species (of N. America) - Eastern, and Western, are also found into Mexico; and for the Eastern even-beyond, into northern South America- esp, north-eastern Colombia and northern Venezuela; also (other) “meadowlarks”, as so-named include some additional species found in parts of South America, with at least one of those (in a genus not the same as our North American species of meadowlarks) making it into parts of Costa Rica, in Central America. Other readers may have a finer set of points on this very-newly elevated North America species. I also believe the full article [proposing this as a species] from (and *copyright by*) the A.O.S. as authored by Beam, Funk, and Taylor is available here: <> (this was so for me in a standard browser and with no special-access); also: n.b. the ’supplemental data’ file is located near the bottom of the above paper on-line and I was also able to freely access that information, which may be of most interest to those who read the paper in full. All of this is the paper which appears to have most-influenced the choice made by the N.A.C.C. (in brief, the checklist committee) for the inclusion as a species -by the A.O.S.- to North American birds. The field identification of 'quiet-meadowlarks’ in some areas will perhaps be a bit of a challenge.

The [Siberian-form] Bar-tailed Godwit was again being seen off Cupsogue Beach County Park in Suffolk County, NY into Thursday, 8/4, with multiple observers for that morning’s tide-cycle.

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With that ‘Great White Heron’ ongoing to 8/4 in Piermont, Rockland County, NY and some possible uptick in numbers of egrets and other wading-birds into the northeast, it could be worth keeping in mind Reddish Egret in addition, a species which is rare in N.Y. state but could (and has) occur[ed] there, and elsewhere into the northeast. And just as an additional note, while well-west of all of NYS, a Limpkin was continuing at least to 8/3 (many many observers) in LaPorte County, Indiana, which adjoins Lake Michigan & not a great distance east of Chicago, IL.

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New York County (in N.Y. City), including Manhattan, Randall’s Island, and Governors Island & the skies & waters adjacent
Wednesday, August 3rd, and Thursday, August 4th -

Mainly just an update on some migration pushing on through, with some lingering species as well. Some of the early a.m. flights, including previous to this report’s period, have included a good many birds passing over and high enough / early enough / already passing to west of Manhattan island over the western side of the island - that the bulk of migrants can be termed flyovers & some not very identifiable beyond 'general sizes or shapes’… with only a modest amount of drop-in arrival noted, and relatively-modest lower-&-closer flyovers, in early hours.

At least 4 Lesser Yellowlegs were noted on the flats at Inwood Hill Park’s mudflats, off the north end of that park which is nearest to W. 215th St., west of Broadway on Wed. on Thursday, with some later-arriving seekers finding fewer of that species there,; other shorebirds around the county included Spotted, Least, and Semipalmated Sandpipers, and a modest no. of Killdeer, all in areas where somewhat expected.

Increases were seen for a number of migrant (as opposed to mostly-resident) species, including Black-and-white Warblers, American Redstarts, and Louisiana Waterthrushes, with other warblers also showing including Yellow Warblers (in fairly good no’s. still on the move, if slowing by Thursday), Northern Waterthrushes (same), and a couple of Prairie Warblers (newly, it seems) by Thursday, plus the ongoing (summering) few Ovenbirds, as well as (some perhaps having tried breeding) Common Yellowthroats. There’ve been some flybys of warblers in the early mornings (and of course, thru overnight hours) with some certainly Yellow, and other warbler spp., a few of which likely additional to the species noted above, some of which species seen priorly in this year’s southbound-migration, and a few ‘possibles' that have not been noted thus far. An unusual find as a seeming migrator this “soon", a White-breasted Nuthatch appeared to be one of the many small birds passing & then crossing the Hudson river, northeast to SW, on Wed. morning, 8/3. Indicator of…(?) what, if anything may remain to be learned as the south-bounders season goes on, and increases. [This week, at least 5 species of warblers have been seen in areas some distance from breeding ranges & almost-certainly southbound migrants, which for some are rather early for their respective latudinal-locations in the eastern U.S., they include Tennessee, Cape May, Bay-breasted, Wilson’s, and finally Myrtle [Yellow-rumped] with the latter’s (several) sightings south of any typical breeding areas of that species. One of the Tennessees this week was photographed well in West Virginia, however of all of these five, that species may be first to begin moving in the southward direction for this season. One of the multiple Yellow-rumped / Myrtle Warblers seen in this week passing south was photographed at Lido Beach, Nassau County NY on 8/2 [D. Salas] - & again this represents a certain migrant for that site.

Ongoing but perhaps-fewer Cliff Swallows for N.Y. County out at the nesting area on Randall’s Island, while almost all swallow / martin species have been moving on or at-least moving-around recently (in general and specific to N.Y. County), the most-noticeable component of all have been, as is typical here, Barn Swallows some of which may even be noticed at times over the urban streets and boulevards, when on the move. Chimney Swifts also continue to mass, and some have been moving on.

The midsummer icterid flights continued with a fairly low count of Red-winged Blackbird and Brown-headed Cowbird, plus a couple of Orchard Orioles on Wed., and an apparently lacking flight for Thursday, for the county, while some Chimney Swifts again were on the move on both days. (However, some observers found very good -for the date- no’s. of blackbirds, mainly Red-winged Blackbirds moving on the morning of 8/4, & from other points in N.Y. City.) The arrivals of Ring-billed Gull continued for N.Y. County, although still in modest numbers compared with the expectations for later in this month. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were ongoing in small no’s. for Wed. in southbound flight.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron[s] have been ongoing at Randall’s Island (in particular) which is the likeliest area in the county to see the species, if not always a sure bet. Far more widespread and common, Black-crowned Night-Heron can be seen from many sites and esp. so in evenings, or very early in pre-dawn hours on their ways to-from roosts & favored feeding locations.

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An intriguing report for a Monk Parakeet was made for the southern part of Central Park, on 8/2, and that species has certainly occurred in that park; also however in the past week have been more than a couple of sightings of Budgerigars, which is slightly-unusual in that the sightings were of more than just 1 individual, and of more than 1 of the color-forms of that commonly-kept cage-bird which also regularly show as escapees (or perhaps releases) in the county and the wider region, at odd & unexpected times. Monk Parakeet a rather stockier and much-different sounding species as compared with the fast-flying “Budgie”, but still a chance of mistaking one for another in some situations. As well, in N.Y. County alone, there have been dozens of different species of birds in the parrot-family that have been noted in-flight &/or perching, over the years and including a great many sightings (of many species) from Central Park, almost all deemed as escapees or releases (as compared with established-in-the-region even-if-not-orginating-on-the-northern-continent Monk Parakeets, a native of South America where still regularly found in proper locales) from captivity, and often demonstrably so, as owners or others have lured some back to the cages or homes from which they’d flown. Monk Parakeet has nested on Manhattan, and perhaps over-the-years elsewhere in N.Y. County, and is a well-known nesting species in all of the other 4 NYC counties, if 'best-known' from a few localities in Brooklyn / Kings, NY; also that species has seemingly increased into southern New England coastal and near-coastal areas, and is established in some places in New Jersey.

And a quite-unusual sight for midsummer in N.Y. City and the county called New York, a Hermit Thrush was reported from Central Park on 7/31, which could raise the question of either a shy quiet skulker of a summer-lingerer, or just-as-possibly a wanderer from perhaps one of the closer of breeding areas for that species which are vastly-less than a single night’s hop-away in flight for that songbird, which is not known to breed in any part of the city. The one Catharus-type thrush which is a regular (and expected) breeder in the city each season is Wood Thrush. Further, in any expected phenologies, Hermit Thrush is the last / latest in southbound migration or later-season movement to show in N.Y. City (and in general) compared with all of the other ‘brown-backed’ North American breeding thrushes. One further interesting aspect of this sighting would be: was this a form of Hermit Thrush that typically breeds in the northeastern part of the continent, or one from much farther-west, a question that (at the least) would wish for very crisp and detailed photos & perhaps very-detailed notes if any observations had been extensive.

Good birding, and be safe in heat & humidity,

Tom Fiore
[N.Y. City, and points-north]


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