On Monday, 14 August, we had 11 warbler species on our bird walk! Migration is well underway - now is a great time to see warblers and others including shorebirds and even raptors migrating overhead.
Black-and-white Warbler - 14 September 2013 (Central Park) by Deborah Allen
Our bird photos come from Deborah Allen and were taken in the last few days in Central Park and Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx. The images show two warbler species (including Blue-winged) and several shorebirds such as Pectoral Sandpiper (uncommon), Short-billed Dowitcher and Great Blue Heron. Indeed as you read this we are processing photos from another morning's shoot at Pelham Bay Park - photographing shorebirds in the puddles of the parking lot, exactly where Deborah took the photos you will see below. A Baird's Sandpiper (rare) was found there late yesterday by Richard Aracil, but not this morning...
This week's historical notes focus the changes in abundance as well as arrival dates on migration in spring/autumn for seven more warbler species. With this group we have presented info on about 21 of the 32 or so warbler species that have been found in Central Park from the mid-19th century to the present. This week such early autumn migrants as Blackburnian Warbler are featured, as well as several that linger late into the autumn and even winter: Orange-crowned and Pine Warblers for example. We also include info on a very early migrant Mourning Warbler in Central Park (August 1908); several interesting migrants in Central Park, autumn 1932; and nesting Cerulean Warblers right across the Hudson River in NJ in 1950.
See our NEW and UPDATED web site ( www.BirdingBob.com ) rated Numero Uno with the ABA (best ethical/science bird guide and web site in NYC for 2017-18-19++ - thank you Brad Woodward!). The web site has details about meeting places for the bird walks and lots of photos (and publications) from research projects around NYC as well as raptor migration work in Thailand and Nepal. You can also find the weekly Newsletter on the site. Just a note to anyone interested in getting a web site up and running. This one was designed by Davog Byrne of Brazil for not a lot of money - and he was easy and fun to work with...If you want his contact info, send us an email - or see here: https://www.upwork.com/freelancers/~019227bcc88b82ec6d?projectId=894971143411638272
Semipalmated Sandpiper at Pelham Bay Park (Bronx) on 10 August 2017 by Deborah Allen
Deborah Allen sends photos from Central Park and Pelham Bay Park (The Bx):
Central Park – Saturday August 12, 2017:
Immature Yellow Warbler in Swamp Rosemallow, Turtle Pond:
Immature Female Blue-winged Warbler, The Reservoir:
Juvenile Spotted Sandpiper, The Pond:
Pelham Bay Park, Bronx:
Adult Pectoral Sandpiper, Orchard Beach, Thursday, August 10, 2017:
Juvenile Least Sandpiper, Orchard Beach, Thursday, August 10, 2017:
Juvenile Short-billed Dowitcher, Orchard Beach, 11 August 2017:
Great Blue Heron, Turtle Cove, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017:
Link to Deborah Allen photos on Agpix site:
Good! Here are the bird walks for mid-August - each $10
All walks in Central Park:
1. Friday, 18 August - meet at Conservatory Garden (105th street and Fifth Ave) at 9am.
2. Saturday, 19 August - 7:30am and again at 9am - Boathouse. $10***
3. Sunday, 20 August - Meet at the Boathouse (approx. 74th street and the East Drive) at 9am. $10
4. Monday, 21 August - 8am and again 9am. Strawberry Fields (Imagine Mosaic). $10***
*** on Saturdays and Mondays you can do two walks for the price of one: Pay $10 and do both walks (or either one).
The fine print: In August, our walks on Sundays meet at 9am at the Boathouse Restaurant (approximately 74th street and the East Drive on the lake; it is NOT one of the buildings on the nearby Model Boat Pond). Bathrooms are nearby and ok; they open at about 7am. On Saturdays we continue to meet at the Boathouse (74th street and the East Drive) at 7:30am/9am - but check schedule on web site just in case we are going further afield such as NYBG in the Bronx. You can do either or both Saturday walks for $10. On Mondays we meet at Strawberry Fields: find the Imagine Mosaic and we are sitting on the benches nearby...look for people with binoculars. The Friday walks meet at Conservatory Garden - enter at 105th street and 5th Avenue and walk down the stairs - we meet straight ahead at the end of long (75 meter) grassy area, and adjacent to the men's bathroom (women's bathroom on opposite side about 50 yards away). Our home phone is 718-828-8262...and Deborah's cell is: 347-703-5554. Email is above (= email@example.com). We have a new web site...if in doubt about whether a walk will take place or not, check the web site the morning of the walk: info will be posted on the main landing page as well as the "Schedule" page. If still confused, call us at home - if no one answers it means we left for the bird walk!
We end all our weekend and Monday Central Park walks at the Boathouse at about noon - you can get a cup of coffee and a muffin there (around $5 total - coffee is now $2.25). Our Friday walks, we usually end up at (or very near) Conservatory Garden, most often at 106th street and 5th Avenue.
Here is what we saw last week (selected highlights) with some anecdotal notes and observations. Not all species we saw are reported here - we list the best:
Friday, 11 August (start at Conservatory Garden [105th street] at 9am) - six warbler species this fine morning, the best being several Canada Warblers (Stefan Passlick and Dad) along the Loch and Wildflower Meadow (early), and a Blue-winged Warbler at 7:30am. As with many of the August walks, earlier is much (much) better for birds: it is cooler at 7am and the sun is not strong...warblers come in readily to the calls from my tape and are not shy - they will come to the edge of the forest and remain in sight. By 9am with brighter light levels (and warmer temps), birds hang back in the shade, and become more lethargic (and don't respond to my recordings as well or for as long). So at 7am, I could find 10+ American Redstarts along the Loch, but by 9am, that number had declined significantly. We also had a bunch of Orioles - again more responsive at 7:30am than after 9am. For Deborah and me, the big possibility is nesting American Goldfinch at the Wildflower meadow: a nice male was singing and following the tape with great interest while we were in that area. We saw no females on the bird walk, but they have been here...Compare this to the Chipping Sparrow male that is still in the area: that bird sang all spring, but no female was ever seen...(and ditto the male Common Yellowthroat in this same area).
Deborah's bird list for the day: http://birding.aba.org/message.php?mesid=1317507&MLID=NY01&MLNM=New%20York
Saturday, 12 August - (start at the Boathouse Restaurant at 7:30am and again at 9am; two walks for $10 total) - two firsts today. Of the six Warbler species, the best one was a very confusing bird: a moulty male Pine Warbler that we variously thought was a Magnolia Warbler (streaking on the sides of the body) or even Goldfinch...until Deborah pointed out some key field marks. This was a First of Season bird and at least 29 days EARLIER than any previous southbound migrant Pine Warbler ever seen in Central Park. (The previous early record was 11 September 1931.) So our sighting was significant. The other good find we made was an adult female Cooper's Hawk chasing a Red-tailed Hawk in the Ramble; the Accipiter hawk landed near us albeit concealed by foliage. We get sufficient looks by moving back and forth to look through the leaves...The most fun bird was a Spotted Sandpiper that flew in over our heads at the Upper Lobe - and came toward us when I played its call on my tape.
Deborah's bird list for the day: http://birding.aba.org/message.php?mesid=1317867&MLID=NY01&MLNM=New%20York
Sunday, 13 August (start at the Boathouse Restaurant at 9am) - many people but few birds. Four (4) warbler species today and not many individuals either. We had the usual suspects for this time of the year: Yellow Warbler, American Redstart, Black-and-white, Northern Waterthrush...perhaps the best birds were the several (5) Blue-grey Gnatcatchers in the Ramble that came in close to hear better the calls from my tape. But again, warm weather and sunshine (and just many fewer birds) resulted in a less than amazing morning (compare to Monday's results).
Deborah's bird list for the day: http://birding.aba.org/message.php?mesid=1318191&MLID=NY01&MLNM=New%20York
Monday, 14 August (start at Strawberry Fields [Imagine Mosaic] at 8am and again at 9am) - Wow. Eleven (11) warbler species today and without really trying too hard. It began at 7am with an Ovenbird [First of Season = FOS] in Strawberry Fields...and then with Elizabeth M. Whitman at 8am, we found a cluster of Chestnut-sided Warblers (FOS), Canada Warblers, Blue-wings, Redstarts and others at Triplets Bridge. The weather was sunny and warm, and I did not expect the good birding too last. Returning to get Sally Kopstein, Jim, Barbara and others, we made our way to the Ramble. We picked up a female Mourning Warbler (FOS) opposite the men's bathroom at Delacorte Theater; then, with the sky becoming 100% overcast (this is good!), another cluster of warblers on the south side of Turtle Pond (Blue-wing, Yellow, No. Waterthrush, eg). We headed south into the Ramble and here it became amazing: Worm-eating, Blue-winged and more in the Maintenance Field, and then at Humming Tombstone we added male Hooded Warbler (FOS), several Black-and-whites, Canada, Chestnut-sided, Redstart etc. Had this only happened on Sunday (yesterday) for Jeff Ward and all the other folks, it would have been great...that was my only regret today.
Deborah's bird list for the day: http://birding.aba.org/message.php?mesid=1318421&MLID=NY01&MLNM=New%20York
1923. Pine Warbler. Central Park. Generally uncommon spring transient, varying greatly in numbers, perhaps once in ten years really common. Earliest spring arrival: 29 March 1921 (Blanche Samek) and 30 March 1913 (S. V. LaDow) and seen as late as 5 May 1912 (Anne A. Crolius). Rare in fall, recorded in only six years since 1907, and then only once each season, except in 1921. Earliest fall arrival date: 18 September 1919 (Janvrin) and 23 September 1910 (Hix) to as late as 29 October 1911 (Hix). BRONX REGION. Uncommon spring transient, 27 March 1896 (E. I. Haines) to 6 May 1917 (L. N. Nichols); rare in the fall, 28 September 1918 (C. L. Lewis) to 27 October 1919 (L. N. Nichols).
1958. Pine Warbler. Central Park. Uncommon transient. Earliest spring arrival date: 23 March 1949 (Sutton) to as late as 10 May 1947 (Sedwitz). In autumn as early as 11 September 1931 (Watson) to as late as 16 November 1957 (Bloom). Maximum six on 8 April 1954 (Feinberg, Post). 1959-1967: Continuous records from 23 to 29 March. Maxima: 8 in Van Cortlandt Park (Bronx) on 8 April 1950; 15 in Bronx Park on 23 April 1955. Maxima fall numbers are no where close to spring in our area. Has been breeding at NYBG in the Bronx since the late 1990s, though perhaps not ever year (1-2 pairs).
1958. Pine Warbler. Prospect Park. Uncommon transient. Earliest spring arrival date: 22 March 1938 (Tengwall) and late date: 13 May 1952 (Restivo) and 19 May 1946 (Raymond). In autumn on southbound migration as early as 16 September 1950 to as late as 9 November 1930 (Raymond). Maximum six on 23 April 1948 (Whelen). 1959-1967: no new data.
1974+. Pine Warbler. Central Park. "Variously rare to fairly common migrant in our region." Maxima fall numbers are no where close to spring in our area. "Although there are no local winter specimens in the American Museum collection, there are at least a dozen reliable mid-winter (January) sight reports, chiefly along the south shore of Long Island. "The Pine Warbler is much less noted on southbound migration because it moults in late summer into a confusing fall plumage that only gradually brightens through feather wear. Departure dates are also difficult to determine because birds linger to the end of the year and beyond. Although traditionally described as, "very rare" in winter, it now appears annually on LI Christmas Bird Counts from Brooklyn to Montauk, and, somewhat less frequently, in the lower Hudson Valley."
1923. Blackburnian Warbler. Central Park. Usually a common spring transient, rather rare in the fall. In spring seen as early as 30 April 1914 (Griscom) and 2 May 1911 (Griscom) and as late as 7 June 1907 (Hix). In autumn, earliest migrants seen as early as 3 August 1908 (Griscom) to 14 September 1911 (Hix) and casually to 5 October 1907 (Anne A. Crolius and Griscom) and 8 October 1906 (Hix). BRONX REGION. Common spring transient, rarely reported in the fall. First spring migrants: 2 May 1914 (L. N. Nichols) to 27 May 1917 (L. N. Nichols). Maximum: 15 in Bronx Park on 6 May 1953. In autumn, first southbound migrants: 20 September 1889 (Dwight) to 2 October 1889 (Dwight).
1958. Blackburnian Warbler. Central Park. Uncommon to fairly common transient. Earliest spring arrival date: 27 April 1943 (Dale, Johnson) and seen as late in spring as 7 June 1907 (Hix - same as 1923). On southbound migration as early as 3 August 1908 (Griscom - same as 1923) and seen as late as 12 October 1956 (Peter Post). 1959-1967: a new early arrival date for spring: 24 April 1964 (Carleton) and 25 April 1961 (Messing, Tudor). 17 hit the Empire State Building at night on 14 September 1964.
1958. Blackburnian Warbler. Prospect Park. Uncommon to fairly common transient. Earliest spring arrival date: 23 April 1939 (John J. Elliott) and 1 May 1942 (Jacobson) and seen as late as 30 May 1917 (Vietor) and 9 June 1945 (Ferguson). On southbound migration, earliest: 16 August 1953 (Carleton, Restivo, Smith, Usin) to as late as 4 October 1914 (Vietor) and 18 October 1952 (Restivo). Maximum 10 on 23 May 1948 (Whelen). 1959-1967: no new data.
1974+. Blackburnian Warbler. Central Park. More common in spring than autumn. Uncommon after mid-September.
1923. Tennessee Warbler. Central Park. Formerly a very rare spring and rare fall transient; now regular and sometimes common or abundant; no spring record prior to 16 May 1902 (L. N. Nichols); 24 May 1910 (Hix); 12 May 1912 (Anne A. Crolius); 16 May 1913 (Griscom); 6 May and 17 May 1914 (Anne A. Crolius, Griscom and others); latest spring date 27 May 1917 (Hix); 19 August 1922 (Griscom) to 10 October 1915 (Hix). To summarize the available information [until 1923], the Tennessee Warbler arrives on the biggest waves of the spring, and the number of times it is seen depends upon the number of waves. In the fall it arrives regularly the end of August, and on certain days is often the commonest species of Warbler. BRONX REGION. 21 May 1884 (Dwight); 6 May 1921 (L. N. Nichols) to 30 May 1917 (Janvrin); 27 August 1922 (Griscom) to 16 October 1921 (Griscom).
1958. Tennessee Warbler. Central Park. Uncommon spring, fairly common fall transient. 30 April 1957 (singing bird - Messing) to 28 May 1937 (Rich); 11 August 1941 (Carleton) to 19 October 1958 (Harrison, Messing). Maximum 35 on 20 September 1958 (Messing). 1959-1967: one new late spring date: 2 June 1967 (Carleton). 35 Central Park on 20 September 1958; on the rainy night of 22 September 1953, 42 struck the Empire State Building; [15 Jamaica Bay/Idlewild 8 October 1949]. Rare before mid-May and after early October.
1958. Tennessee Warbler. Prospect Park. Rare to uncommon spring, uncommon fall transient. 29 April 1957 (singing bird - Raymond) to 27 May 1917 (Vietor); 16 August 1914 (Vietor) to 19 October 1958 (Carleton). Maximum 12 on 19 August 1944 (Soll). 1959-1967: one new late autumn date: 7 November 1962 (Yrizarry).
1974+. Tennessee Warbler. Central Park. This warbler's great fluctuation in numbers are apparently in response to insect outbreaks in the boreal forest, especially those of the spruce budworm. It was very common most recently from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s. It has been much less common from the 1980s to the present. On 22 May 1983 a huge, unprecedented coastal count of 250 at Forest Park (Queens County). Usually rare before mid-May and after early October. One bird picked up dead at a bird feeder in Westchester County in January 1955 (John Bull note).
1923. Orange-crowned Warbler. Central Park. No records before 1923. A single individual was discovered in the dense ornamental conifer groves of the Moravian Cemetery on Staten Island, 8 January 1917 (W. H. Wiegmann) and remained at least until 20 January (Hix); another found in the same place 26 December 1920 (Lester Walsh), seen so well and described so accurately, that there can be no reasonable doubt of its identity. BRONX REGION. Recorded at Riverdale, 9 October 29 October 1876 (Bicknell).
1958. Orange-crowned Warbler. Central Park. Very Rare spring, and "only" rare fall transient. 4 May 1956 (Cantor, Messing, Norse, Post - photographed) to 16 May 1928 (Hix); 10 September 1949 (Cantor, Norse) to 27 October 1939 (Carleton) and 22 November 1941 (Carleton). 1959-1967: no new data.
1958. Orange-crowned Warbler. Prospect Park. Very Rare spring, and "only" rare fall transient. 17 April 1943 (Jacobson) and 27 April 1936 (Russell) to 20 May 1918 (Allen); 11 September 1949 (Jacobson) and 3 October 1948 (Jacobson) to 14 November 1953 (Carleton, Cashman, Restivo, Smith, Usin). 1959-1967: no new data.
1974+. Orange-crowned Warbler. Central Park. "The Orange-crowned Warbler, although unobtrusive, inconspicuous, and occasionally difficult to identify, is nevertheless not as scarce as some observers believe. In October, when more are seen than at any other time, they are less arboreal in habits and often are found low down in scrub growth, especially in old, overgrown, weedy fields adjacent to woodland. In spring, when they are much rarer, they are more often observed in the taller trees, but usually only during the bigger warbler waves." Even in fall, it is rare enough that there are reports of no more than two or three individuals at any one time. "August reports of this warbler are considered unsatisfactory and have been rejected because of confusion with dull or immature Yellow Warblers and Tennessee Warblers. Several years ago [this was written in 1964], a warbler thought to be an Orange-crowned was brought to a bird club meeting for identification. It was variously identified by those at the meeting as: Orange-crowned, Nashville, Tennessee, Yellow and female Wilson's Warblers. Upon examination of skins, it was correctly identified as immature Yellow Warbler." Any warbler seen after mid-October could be this bird...and it is warbler most likely to be present in Central Park in December-January (although very [very] rare - but we have seen several in 2000-2016).
1923. Blackpoll Warbler. Central Park. Very common spring, abundant fall transient; 3 May 1911 (Griscom), 4 May 1913 (Griscom), 5 May 1919 (Griscom) to 15 June 1917 (Hix). On fall migration: 1 September 1911 (Hix) to 22 October 1908 (Griscom). BRONX REGION. Very common transient: 12 May 1912 (Hix) to 10 June 1886 (Dwight). On fall migration: 7 September 1919 (Granger) to 14 October 1911 (Hix).
1958. Blackpoll Warbler. Central Park. Common to abundant transient. Early arrival dates for spring: 1 May 1944 (John Bull) and latest seen, 22 June 1917 (Hix). Earliest arrival date in fall migration: 29 August 1941 (two birds carefully studied - Carleton) to as late as 24 October 1949 (Helmuth). One bird (a singing male) was seen on 1 July 1951 (Aronoff); a male summered in 1953 (Carleton, Messing..."seen all June and July 1953"). Maximum seen was 35 on 23 May 1954 (Feinberg, Maumary, Post). 1959-1967: Maximum seen: 200 on 24 September 1963 (Kleinbaum).
1958. Blackpoll Warbler. Prospect Park. Abundant transient. Earliest spring arrival date: 30 April 1936 (Nathan) and 3 May 1951 (Carleton) to as late as 6 June 1945 (Soll, Whelen) and 16 June 1946 (Ferguson) to 1 July 1917 (Vietor). On southbound migration: 1 September 1958 (Carleton) to as late as 13 November 1908 (Vietor). Maximum 130 on 17 May 1945 (Soll). 1959-1967: no new data.
1974+. Blackpoll Warbler. Central Park. It remains, perhaps, the most common warbler migrant we can expect to see each spring and autumn. One bird spent the summer of 2008 in Central Park at the north end in the north woods from the Loch up to the Blockhouse.
1923. Cerulean Warbler. Central Park. An exceedingly rare or casual transient in our territory. One recorded as seen by Basil H. Dutcher on 5 May 1885. The female is remarkably like a fall Blackpoll in size, general appearance and coloration, but is bright bluish olive green above instead of dull grayish olive green. It ranges so high [in the canopy], however, that the student will get many a neck ache in his efforts to identify it. BRONX REGION. An adult male in full song most satisfactorily studied 14 May 1921 by Dr. Wm. H. Wiegmann. He made a rough sketch of the bird and wrote a brief description of his observation in the field. Both were immediately recognizable, and he of course knew at the time exactly what he was seeing. Also, "one specimen taken many years ago in Brooklyn" [no other details provided].
1958. Cerulean Warbler. Central Park. Rare transient. Earliest spring arrival date remains the same as 1923: 5 May 1885 (Dutcher); 10 May 1953 (female - Harrison); 11 May 1927 (male - Griscom, Capen, Carleton); 22 May 1955 (female - Herbert, Mackenzie, Messing, Skelton); 18 May 1938 (Pangburn); 18 May 1958 (female - Mackenzie). On fall migration: 3 August to 6 Aug. 1937 (Alperin, Carleton, Stephenson); 15 September 1932 (Boulton). 1959-1967: Still a rare transient. 12 Records: in spring, 29 April 1963 (Carleton, Kleinbaum, Messing) which is a new early arrival date; latest date in spring: 23 May 1961 (female - Gonzalez, Harrison, Mackenzie). In autumn from 1938-1967: no new data. However, nearby, the Cerulean Warbler nested at the Greenbrook Sanctuary (Englewood, NJ) in 1950, just across the Hudson River from northern Manhattan; nesting and/or attempted nesting also occurred in 1951 and 1952.
1958. Cerulean Warbler. Prospect Park. Rare transient. Earliest spring arrival date: 9 May 1943 (Russell); 12 May 1946 (male - Whelen, Mortimer L. Bloom); 17 May 1945 (male - Soll, Whelen). On southbound migration: 26 September and 5 October 1946 (Alperin, Jacobson). 1959-1967: Eight (8) new records: new early spring arrival date = 8 May 1963 (Carleton). In autumn from 1947-1967: no new data.
1974+. Cerulean Warbler. Central Park. Perhaps the rarest warbler we can expect to see each spring and autumn (compare to Swainson's Warbler which does not breed in our area and is an "overshoot" in spring). Has been increasing in our area in spring since 1960 - recent spring records since 1995 are most often from late April.
Notes: "It is rarely reported in fall, probably because of its very early departure. The birds begin to disperse by early to mid July and have usually departed by the latter part of August. Many fall reports are probably of mis-identified drab, first-fall Blackburnian Warblers, and the validity of such records is questionable. On 10 July 1983, during the NY State Atlas survey, a breeding pair was found in Sag Harbor, Suffolk County (Long Island) by Eric Salzman. There were no additional records there until 1992, when a small population was discovered and suspected to be breeding in East Hampton (Suffolk Co., LI) by Pat Lindsay and Tom Vezo. In 1993 and 1994 breeding was confirmed at this site.
1923. Black-throated Green Warbler. Central Park. Very common transient; earliest spring arrival date: 9 April 1908 (Anne A. Crolius and Griscom); 21 April 1921 (Granger) to
and last seen in spring 6 June 1907 (Chubb); earliest arrival date in fall: 28 August 1913 (Hix) and latest date seen in fall: 24 October 1907 (Griscom); rare after 25 May and in August. It is exceptional for this species not to arrive in April. BRONX REGION. Common transient; 22 April 1884 (Dwight) to 5 June 1921 (L. N. Nichols); 6 September 1919 (Granger) to 16 October 1921 (Griscom). Accidental in winter: an individual was found chiefly in a pine grove at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx from 8 November 1943 to 1 January 1944 (Komorowski et al.). It was observed feeding on pine aphid eggs much of the time.
1958. Black-throated Green Warbler. Central Park. Fairly common transient. Earliest spring arrival date remains the same as 1923: 9 April 1908 (Anne A. Crolius and Griscom); 19 April 1924 (Linnaean Society) to a late date of 13 June 1940 (Carleton); early fall arrival: 6 August 1953 (Peter Post) and 18 August 1936 (Irving Cantor) and latest date seen: 9 November 1952 (Bruce Gordon) and 24 November 1957 (Peter Post) and 8 December 1946 (Carleton). 1959-1967: no new data. Maxima Spring - 50 at Bronx Park on 6 May 1953. In fall, 17 at Pelham Bay Park on 20 October 1927, an unusually late date.
1958. Black-throated Green Warbler. Prospect Park. Common transient. Earliest spring arrival date: 19 April 1954 (Restivo) and late date: 6 June 1945 (Soll, Whelen); earliest fall arrival date: 17 August 1936 (Brennan) to (late date): 20 November 1943 (Grant). Maxima Spring - 75 at Prospect Park on 10 May 1946 (Soll). 1959-1967: no new data.
1974+. Black-throated Green Warbler. Central Park. It is moderately common in spring (more common than Cape May and Blackburnian, but less common than Black-and-white). In autumn, this warbler is more commonly seen in Central Park on migration than during spring.
Mourning Warbler  - Miss Crolius and I watched a female of this rare Warbler for over an hour on August 6 . It was very shy and spent its time in thick clumps of rhododendrons, occasionally walking on the ground and stretching up to pick insects off the lower leaves. While feeding, it gave a whispered sip, as if it were talking to itself. When alarmed, it uttered a sharp chuck, very much like the call-note of the Water Thrush in quality. Once or twice it flew up to a branch about fifteen feet from the ground and sat perfectly still watching us. After a time it would fly down again into the bushes and resume its feeding. This is the first fall record of this Warbler for the Park, and, indeed, I believe it is very rare at this season in the neighborhood of New York City.
For Central Park , Mr. Griscom reported 8 Mourning Warblers (Oporonis philadelphia) between Aug. 14 and 29; Philadelphia Vireo (Vireosylva philadelphica), Sept. 16-17; a Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica cerulea), Sept. 15. seen by Mr. Boulton; a pair of Green-winged Teal (Nettizon carolinense) (1st record), Oct. 26; 2 Pine Grosbeaks (Plinicola enucleator leucura), Nov. 19, by Mr. Charles Johnson (1st record in 20 years), and a flock of Scaup Ducks flying over.
First successful nesting of the Cerulean Warbler in New Jersey. - On June 6, 1950, at a picnic in the Greenbrook Sanctuary of the Palisades Interstate Park in New Jersey, less than five miles north of the George Washington Bridge, Mrs. Marjorie Kirkpatrick of Livingston, New Jersey, reported hearing the songs of a Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica cerulea). After a search, a dozen or so of us located a pair of the warblers and their partly finished nest. The nest was in a sweet gum well out on a branch high over a junction of paths and a road along which the whole party had passed earlier in the day. Nesting material was being gathered on the ground and from an old vireo nest higher in the same tree. The male sang many times as the female added material to the nest. The presence of the several observers had no noticeable effect on the birds.
On June 10, when I next visited the nest, the female was on it and the male was singing in a nearby tree. On June 17 at 6:30 a.m. Mr. Dater and I again visited the nest. The female was sitting and the male singing, as before. A storm of heavy rain and high wind broke just after our arrival. We checked once more before leaving the area, finding that things seemed to be normal. Later in the day, however, another observer found the nest abandoned and noted a gaping hole in it. Subsequently, Mr. Collins, the park naturalist, detected egg remains on the ground below.
On July 13 two other members of the Ridgewood Audubon Society and I succeeded in finding a second Cerulean Warbler nest some two hundred feet from the first. The new nest was in an oak about thirty-six feet from the ground. In the nest we could see two birds, which seemed about ready to leave. They were fed at ten minute intervals by both parents, but during our two hours of observation the parents never arrived at the nest at the same time. On July 15 observers reported that the young had left.
Early in November Mr. Dater cut down the nest. It agrees in general appearance and structure with nests described by Chapman (1907. “The Warblers of North America,” p. 174), except that there is a great deal of soft, pulpy white paper (perhaps weathered paper napkins left by picnickers) in the base and wall. This paper, which entirely surrounds some of the supporting twigs, is visible even inside the cup. The walls and lining are very thin.
The Cerulean Warbler has been regarded as a rare migrant in New Jersey. The nearest nesting area has been Dutchess County, New York, on the other side of the Hudson River farther north (Cruickshank, 1942. “Birds Around New York City,” p. 392). In 1947 a female built a nest near Lyons, New Jersey, but the eggs never hatched. - Eleanor E. (Ms. J.Y. Jr.) Dater, 259 Grove St., Ramsey, New Jersey.
Deborah Allen and Robert DeCandido PhD