The Fall Migration is In Full Swing

Right now, and for the next couple of months, birds are on the move. They are migrating south. Most do it in increments and stopover to refuel and rest as they progress. Many species are being seen in our area. These include many warblers as well as other passerines. It's time to get out there and find them Unlike the spring migration, birds are quiet to avoid predators, so they are more difficult to find. In addition, juvenile plumages can be very confusing. So that bird you thought you knew, looks somewhat different as a juvenile. After almost thirty years of birding, I still get confused by the fall warblers.

A Semipalmated Plover at Orchard Beach in August.

Some Blue- gray Gnatcatchers may have already moved through. I saw a few a week or so ago.

Great Blue Herons are all around our waters this time of the year.

A Black -throated Green Warbler at Turtle Cove in early October. If you walk past the metal bridge, you will eventually come to tree filled with berries. This is a good spot to find lots of great species. Don't rush through, be patient. As you proceed, move slowly. At this time of the year Turtle Cove can be very productive.

We usually have lots of Cedar Waxwings coming through. This photo was taken in early September. Cedar Waxwings love the ripe berries,

Here's a confusing fall warbler. can you figure out what it is? The photo was taken in Rockefeller State Park in September, a few seasons ago. Answer is in the next caption.

This is "Mile- A -Minute." It is a horrible invasive species that grows over everything and has invaded Hunter Island.

An Ovenbird photographed sometime during the fall migration.

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

All photos and text by Jack Rothman. All rights reserved. No photo may be copied or duplicated without written permission.Copyright 2020

          Updated 9/8/20


The current administration proposed to abolish critical protections for birds. US District Court Judge Valerie Caproni ruled in favor of birds and disallowed the abolishment or the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This was a great relief to many of us. The abolishment of the MBTA would have allowed the decimation of bird populations without recourse.

               For more information- Link Here

City Island Birds was created in 2007 to bring birders, and would be birders, to the park. Everyone has always been welcomed. Our walks are always friendly, non-competitive and fun. We all love to see great birds, but without each other, it's never as enjoyable.

Black and White Warblers are moving through at this time.

Finally , A Win for Birds

     Walks Will Resume Soon  

Everyone Will Always Be Welcomed

NYC Audubon will be hosting walks at Van Cortland Park soon. I will lead a few. There will be a limit on the number of birders and advance sign up will be required. Everyone will be required to physically distance and wear proper face protection. Sharing of binoculars and scopes will not be permitted.

City Island Birds will be doing it's own walks, if permitted by the NYC Parks Department. More information is forthcoming and I will send out an email blast when I have a definite plan. Joe McManus and I will be leading.

Shorebird Migration is Almost Over

It's always best to check ebird before you leave, but here are some places to look for shorebirds besides our beach:The East Pond of Jamaica Bay if the Pond is lowered. Check

Plumb Beach, Brooklyn, NY

Nickerson Beach, Lido Beach- *

Jones Beach- Babylon, NY

Marine Nature Study- Oceanside, NY

Richard DeKorte- Lyndehurst, NJ

*arrive before 8am or pay $25 fee!

Here's a warbler I haven't seen here in a long time. It's so non-descript it's hard to identify. It's an Orange-crowned Warbler. The confusing fall warbler in the photo above this one, is a Chestnut-sided Warbler.

Our Invasive Plant Species Problem

Pelham Bay Park, like other city parks, has invasive plant species taking over in many areas. Native plants are being overtaken by invasive species that grow faster. Native plants are conducive to a healthy forest and support wildlife. The NYC Parks Department has been trying to eradicate invasive species but it is costly and labor intensive. In the photo further down on this page, is a very destructive invasive that is ruining vast areas of Hunter Island.