Waterfowl through Cranes
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks are brash newcomers here, unknown in NJ and DE before 2000 and in NY dismissed as escapees until 2010. Since then, they have popped up annually in this region, sometimes fleetingly, sometimes for lengthy sojourns. In summer 2022, they visited all three states in the region. NJ’s only report came from Stone Harbor Point, Cape May Co 9 Jun (David McEn). In NY, one remained on Staten Island from 18 May until 2 Jun (Dana Barbato), while a highly mobile group of four Black-bellied Whistling Ducks roamed Suffolk Co, appearing in West Islip 10 Jun (NYC RBA), Avalon Gardens 12 Jun (Jeanne Cimorelli), Mattituck 21 Jun, and, finally, Fort Salonga 29 Jun (NYC RBA). An outlier was photographed at Scottsville, in southwestern Monroe Co, on 15 Jun but was not detected thereafter (Rochester Birding Association). In DE, attention was monopolized by a fluctuating group of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, ranging from 24 (6 Jun) to 73 (5 Jul), but usually totaling between 30 and 65, at a rather barren suburban retention basin on Amalfi Drive in the town of Clayton, Kent Co. When the retention basin was briefly drained in early Aug, the birds moved to nearby Wheatley’s Pond. These birds have used these ponds for several years, and juveniles have accompanied them in some years, but not this year. Elsewhere in DE, three Black-bellied Whistling Ducks flew by Rehoboth Beach, Suffolk Co 12 Jul (Nicholas Minnich), and four were at the Delaware City waterfront, New Castle Co 27 Jul (Joseph Tricario). Clearly, Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks have become an unpredictable but established part of this region’s avifauna.
Trumpeter Swans, whose status in this region is complicated by the existence of captive populations and a reintroduction program in nearby Ontario, were present at NY’s Montezuma WMA in Seneca, Cayuga, and Wayne Cos. They have bred there in recent years, but apparently not this summer. Less expected were 12 in Sodus Bay, Wayne Co, NY in Jul (Rochester Birding Association).
NJ’s third Garganey, an adult male, was discovered at the National Guard Training Center, Sea Girt, Monmouth Co 1 Jun (Mike Heine, m. ob.). It was seen by over 200 birders during its stay, which lasted until 16 Jun. In addition to NJ’s two previous accepted records, there is one from DE, all in spring or early summer. A King Eider in Reynolds Channel off Atlantic Beach, Nassau Co, Long Island on 4 Jun (NYC RBA) was the least expected of summering diving ducks.
A count of 110 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in a yard at Harbison, Sussex Co, DE indicated the species’s abundance. It included 53 newly banded birds plus ten recaptures from previous years (Birdline Delaware 4 Aug). Robert Yunick banded 65 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds during the summer at Jenny Lake, at 1250’ elevation near Corinth, Saratoga Co, NY.
A King Rail was visible periodically along Big Stone Beach Road, Milford Neck Wildlife Area, Kent Co, DE, starting on 8 Jun (Chris Heckscher). It was accompanied by a chick after Jul 20 (m. ob.). USFWS detected Black Rail at only one survey site in NJ this season (fide Amy Davis).
A couple pairs of Sandhill Cranes that lingered at Bombay Hook NWR, Kent Co, DE from Apr−Aug exhibited courtship behavior. Breeding has been verified in this region only in upstate NY, where it began in 2003.
The shorebird migration southwards began as usual in mid-summer, as adult males departed their breeding areas. By 1 Jul, 200 Lesser Yellowlegs had arrived at Bombay Hook NWR (Andrew Ednie) and 100 Lesser Yellowlegs were at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, New York City, on 7 Jul (NYC RBA). Other early arrivals included 3 Least Sandpipers at the South Cape May Meadows on 4 Jul (Christina Marks), a Marbled Godwit seen from a kayak off JFK airport on 29 Jun (NYC RBA), and 400 Short-billed Dowitchers at Bombay Hook on 1 Jul (Andrew Ednie). A Hudsonian Godwit at the Broadkill Road impoundment, Sussex Co, DE on 21 Jun (Tom Donahue) could have been either coming or going, and the same goes for a Stilt Sandpiper in partial breeding plumage at Bombay Hook on 27 Jun (Rob Fanning). A Greater Yellowlegs, not usually among the earliest shorebird migrants, was already at the South Cape May Meadows on 4 Jul (Christina Marks). By 13 Jul, 5000 sandpipers and plovers thronged in Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, where shorebird habitat has been improved by the advocacy of Andrew Baksh with the National Seashore administration.
A pair of Black-necked Stilts nested at the Thousand Acre Marsh, New Castle Co, not one of DE’s few traditional sites. A few individuals of this species wandered north in May, remaining into early Jun at NJ’s South Cape May Meadows (Cape May Bird Observatory) and at NY’s Hampton Bays, Suffolk Co on 5 Jun (Eileen Schwinn, Mike Higgiston, Vincent Cagno). Two American Avocets, on their way from western breeding areas to their wintering ground in DE, strayed northward to Long Island in late Jul, one at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, New York City 31 Jul (Andrew Baksh) and one at Mecox Inlet, Suffolk Co 30 Jul (Paul Sweet, m. ob.).
NJ’s Atlantic Coast beaches held 143 breeding pairs of American Oystercatchers in 2021 (the latest total figures available), slightly up from 140 in 2020, of which only 55 managed to lay an egg. In 2022, the total count was probably larger, because 10 pairs of oystercatchers inhabited the newly formed Horseshoe Island in Little Egg Inlet, Atlantic Co, about which more below (Todd Pover, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ). Five pairs of American Oystercatchers summered in DE. One of these, at Cape Henlopen SP, hatched young for the first time in five years, though fledging was not successful (Henrietta Bellman, DE Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control).
Two pairs of Piping Plovers raised families in 2022 at the outlet to Sandy Pond, Oswego Co, NY, where in 2015 this species reestablished itself as a breeder on eastern Lake Ontario for the first time since the 1950s (with one exceptional case in 1984). On the coast, conservation efforts for Piping Plovers paid dividends despite unrelenting pressures from predators and human beachgoers. The breeding population on Long Island beaches increased in 2021 (the latest figures available) to 462 pairs that fledged 601 young at 153 sites, up from 416 pairs and 560 fledges in 2020 (Frederick Hamilton, NY Department of Environmental Conservation). The NJ beach population of Piping Plovers grew by an unprecedented 33%, partly because habitat was greatly improved at Edwin B. Forsythe’s Holgate Unit in Ocean Co by the over wash from Superstorm Sandy in 2012. In this area, which is closed to the public in summer, nesting Piping Plover pairs increased from 29 to 46. Seaside Park, Ocean Co, hosted two nesting pairs in 2021 for the first time since statewide monitoring of Piping Plovers began four decades ago. Other new Piping Plover nesting areas in NJ were Strathmere and Two Mile Beach, both Cape May Co. Cape May, a former stronghold that had dropped to three pairs in 2018, increased to 15 pairs in 2021 (Todd Pover). DE’s Piping Plover population, down to one pair twenty years ago, has struggled upward to 24 pairs in 2022, seven at the perennial Cape Henlopen site (eight fledglings) and 17 at Fowler’s Beach in Prime Hook NWR, Sussex Co (26 fledglings) (Henrietta Bellman). A Wilson’s Plover was a flyby at Cape May’s Coral Ave. dune crossing 23 Jun (Tom Reed, Vince Elia); there some 30 records from NJ, almost exclusively from Apr−Jun.
Upland Sandpipers remain in serious trouble as regional breeders. We received only two reports that suggested breeding (late Jul birds are probably already southbound): two just north of Little Falls, Herkimer Co, NY on 16 Jun (Elizabeth Frascatore) and 2−3 pairs at the Joint Base in Lakehurst, Ocean Co, NJ (Meaghan Lyon, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ).
A Eurasian Whimbrel was photographed at Jarvis Sound, Cape May Co, NJ on 12 Jun (Tom Reed); it was the 14th state record. Most of this region’s few sightings are from coastal NJ. A Bar-tailed Godwit at Cupsogue, Suffolk Co, NY 19 Jul−1 Aug was a very good find, at a date close to past NY records, of which there are only about seven (Ben Bolduc, Mike McBrien, m. ob.).
Ruffs have been extremely variable as spring and fall migrants in the Hudson-Delaware region. Their seasonal totals reached double digits in the 1980s and early 1990s, but totals have been much lower in the 21st century, and not one was detected in summer 2019. Summer 2022 was a middling year. One or even two or three Ruffs were present almost daily from 26 Jun through the season at prime spots, such as Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in NJ and Bombay Hook in DE, so repetitions make a total number difficult. The biggest count was three at Bombay Hook on 30 Jun (Jason Horn). NY dipped on Ruff this season.
A few shorebirds fail to migrate north each spring, for unknown reasons. This season three Dunlins remained at Bombay Hook on 18 Jun, and two were still there on 21 Jun (Will Bennett).
Wilson’s Phalaropes were present in above-normal numbers this season, but there was no sign of breeding. In NY, a late spring migrant was at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on 16 Jun (NYC RBA). The first fall migrant appeared there on 15 Jul and was followed by two on 31 Jul (Andrew Baksh). Upstate, one was at Montezuma NWR 30 Jul (Chris Wood, m. ob.). In DE, one continued from late May at Bombay Hook NWR to 1 Jun (Michael Moore). It was followed there by singles 19−20 Jun (Michael Kardos, Teri Warren, Tom Donahue) and 28−29 Jun (Andrew Ednie, m. ob.), and two on 4 Jul (John Daniel m. ob.) and 28 Jul (Bruce Peterjohn), representing a total of perhaps as many as seven individuals. A northbound Red-necked Phalarope lingered at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge 9−12 Jun (Jennifer Wilson-Pines), while another was presumed southbound at Bombay Hook NWR 5 Jul (David Roberts), also above average.
Alcids through Frigatebirds
A Dovekie about 85 miles off Rehoboth Beach, Sussex Co on 4 Jun was a first Jun record for this species for DE (Tom Reed, David Weber, m. ob.). Seven Atlantic Puffins on this same excursion were also noteworthy for Jun (Tom Reed, Beverly Dant, David Weber, m. ob.).
A first-summer Black-headed Gull was at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, New York City on the exceptional date of 4 Jun (Andrew Baksh, m. ob.); it remained through late fall. Bull’s Birds of New York State (1998) lists only three or four summer records. A few Laughing Gulls explored all the way to Lake Ontario once again, with one at the East Spit of Braddock Bay, Monroe Co, NY on 1 Jun (Michelle Gianvecchio, Sheryl Gracewski) and one at Sodus Point, Wayne Co, NY on 10 Jun (Tim Lenz). A Franklin’s Gull in breeding plumage at the Cape May Canal on 10 Jun (Tom Reed) was one of only a handful of Jun records for NJ; there are several midsummer records from DE and NY, as well. There were 38,476 Ring-billed Gull nests tallied on Little Galloo Island in Lake Ontario this year, down 11% from the last count conducted in 2012 (Adam Bleau, NY Department of Environmental Conservation). There were no notable gatherings of Lesser Black-backed Gulls, such as those in recent years on the Delaware River opposite the great Tullytown, PA dump. Single Iceland Gulls at Mecox, Suffolk Co, NY 13−20 Jun (NYC RBA) and Reed’s Beach, Cape May Co, NJ 22 Jun (Aidan and Devin Griffiths) were unusual but not unprecedented in midsummer.
This year, the great Caspian Tern colony on Little Galloo Island in eastern Lake Ontario shrank 11.6% to 2174 nests, about 4% below the ten-year average of 2272 (Adam Bleau). The region’s only other nesting colony, recently established at Buffalo, was still active, but numbers were not available as of this publication (Mike Morgante). A colony of 24 Royal Terns on the newly formed Horseshoe Island in Little Egg Inlet, Atlantic Co, NJ in 2021 was the northernmost documented colony of this species in the Western Hemisphere (Todd Pover). Horseshoe Island, a perhaps ephemeral sandy emergence, was extraordinarily rich in nesting birds in summer 2021 (the latest data available): 470+ Least Terns there represented the largest colony in the state, and there were also 380+ Black Skimmers and 50+ Common Terns, as well as the American Oystercatchers mentioned earlier, plus roosting and feeding waders and pelicans. The island is off-limits to boaters and beachgoers.
Elsewhere in NJ, the largest of the state’s six Black Skimmer colonies continues at Malibu Beach WMA, Longport, Atlantic Co, where 860 birds were carefully counted on 12 Jun (Jeff Shenot). Statewide, a total of 2128 adult Black Skimmers managed to fledge 1362 chicks despite multiple challenges (Christina Davis, Emily Heiser, NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife). So high a degree of concentration makes NJ’s skimmer population vulnerable.
A Sandwich Tern or two usually visit this region’s coast in summer, although breeding is unknown north of Maryland. This year saw more than usual: one in NY, at Breezy Point, Queens Co 24 Jun (NYC RBA), and several in DE including one at Millsboro, Sussex Co 9 Jun (David Soares), two over the ocean at Rehoboth Beach 12 Jul (Nicholas Minnich), and two at Cape Henlopen SP 29 Jul (Bruce Peterjohn).A handful of reports also came from NJ in Cape May, Ocean, and Monmouth Cos. We have no information about the great colony of Roseate Terns and Common Terns on Great Gull Island off the eastern end of Long Island, as this research station went unmanned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two Least Terns ventured all the way to Lake Ontario, and were seen on the East Spit of Braddock Bay, Monroe Co, NY on 12 Jun and later the same day four miles away at Charlotte pier. They constituted a third record for the Rochester, NY area (Michelle Gianvechio, Mike Gullo, m. ob.). In NJ, the highly volatile Least Tern population totaled 1153 adults in 26 colonies in 2021 (up from 18 in 2020 and 20 in 2019) that managed to fledge only 301 chicks (Christina Davis, Emily Heiser). The main problem was predation. DE now has about twenty pairs of Least Terns (Henrietta Bellman).
White-winged Tern was almost annual in DE in the 1990s (one bird may have repeated), but in the twenty-first century it has occurred only once in this region: a rare spring record at Ted Harvey WMA, Kent Co in Apr 2008. Therefore, numerous birders gathered when a molting White-winged Tern turned up along Big Stone Beach Road, Milford Neck Wildlife Area, Kent Co, DE 10 Jul. It gradually transitioned into basic plumage over its 11-day stay (Randy Fisher, m. ob.).
Tubenoses passed abundantly along the south shore of Long Island in mid-Jun on southeast winds, the best day being Jun 17 with about 800 shearwaters off Robert Moses SP, Suffolk Co, NY, about evenly divided between Great and Cory’s and including an unusual six Manx Shearwaters (NYC RBA). Some die-off occurred, and necropsy of specimens determined that the cause was not avian flu, as some suspected, but starvation among juveniles making their first flight north (Paul Sweet). A South Polar Skua was a rare sight from shore at Robert Moses SP 2 Jul (NYC RBA).
A frigatebird, presumed Magnificent, passed Robert Moses SP, Suffolk Co, Long Island eastbound on 4 Jun (NYC RBA), following several May records in both NY and NJ. This species is observed less than annually in NY.
Boobies through Ibis
DE’s first Masked Booby was found ill on the beach at Fenwick Island, Sussex Co 13 Jul (Kelly McGovern). It died two days later at Tristate Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Newark, DE. This tropical species is not normally found north of the Caribbean, though three records have been accepted by the NJ Bird Records Committee, all since 2000.
Once rare, Brown Boobies are becoming regular in this region. This summer, one was photographed distantly off Smith’s Point, Suffolk Co, Long Island, NY 5 Jul (Patrice Domeischel, m. ob.) and another, possibly the same, flew east by nearby Cutchogue on 7 Jul (NYC RBA). An immature seen from the Cape Henlopen SP hawk watch, also on 5 Jul, was DE’s third (Bruce Peterjohn).
An Anhinga was discovered on 20 Jul on the Rockland Co, NY side of Lake Tappan (fide Ari Weiss, m. ob.). It remained there until at least 26 Aug. This species’s history in the region is complicated by confusion with cormorants, but eight records (including one specimen) have been accepted by the NJ Bird Records Committee, and three by the NY State Avian Records Committee.
NY’s sixth Neotropic Cormorant was discovered on the Hudson River in Newburgh Harbor, Orange Co 28 May (Bruce Nott, Ken and Curt McDermott, Peter Chernek). NY’s previous observations were all from the Great Lakes, so this was the easternmost state record. It remained there, abundantly photographed, until 9 Oct. Double-crested Cormorant numbers continue to climb. The great colony at Little Galloo Island, in eastern Lake Ontario, grew again about 20% to 4172 this year. This is still only about half the total reached before control measures began in the 1990s. NY Department of Environmental Conservation continues to implement control measures such as oiling nests and culling adult birds (329 this year). The number of nests on islands in the St. Lawrence River also increased in 2022, by 20% (Adam Bleau).
Somewhat more Brown Pelicans than usual wandered north as far as Long Island waters in Jul, peaking at three off Fort Tilden, Nassau Co, and ten off Fire Island Pines, both on 8 Jul (Veryl Witmer, NYC RBA).
The region’s two mega-heronries are at Pea Patch Island, in the Delaware River off Delaware City, and New York Harbor. The New York Harbor figures were not available at the time of publication. At Pea Patch, on the evening of 29 Jun, 1449 herons of seven species were counted leaving or entering the colony, compared with an average of 1867 since the counts began in 1994 (Chris Bennett). Of particular interest was a count of 137 Cattle Egrets at Pea Patch on 29 Jun (Chris Bennett), down from over 4000 in the summer of 1994. Pea Patch is the only remaining Cattle Egret breeding site known to us in the Hudson-Delaware region, a notable decline for this globally abundant wader, which arrived in North America in the 1950s, spread rapidly, and is now diminishing for reasons still unknown.
A Great White Heron―generally considered a white morph of the Great Blue―was a surprise at Piermont, Rockland Co, NY 24 Jul (Doug Gochfeld). It remained at least until mid-October. The annual summer northerly wandering of herons north of breeding areas got off to a very early start with a Snowy Egret at Point Breeze, Orleans Co, NY on 9 Jun (Celeste Morien). A Tricolored Heron, not currently known to breed northeast of New York Harbor, visited Captree Island in central Suffolk Co Jul 2−9 (Max Epstein, m. ob.).
“It was a big year for White Ibis in DE” (per Andrew Ednie), and even further north. Most White Ibis in this region are immatures wandering after breeding, but in 2022 the species nested in NJ at the Ocean City Visitor Center heronry, Cape May Co for the third consecutive summer (Kevin Fox). Elsewhere many hundreds of White Ibis gathered in DE and southern NJ at the end of summer. White-faced Ibis also nested in the Ocean City colony, but on Jun 6 the nest was attacked and the eggs destroyed by White Ibis (Stephen Kelvas). Later in the summer a mixed pair of White-faced and Glossy Ibis produced offspring in this heronry (Doug Gochfeld, Tom Johnson).
Vultures through Merlins
The Braddock Bay, Monroe Co, NY hawk watch had a big day on 16 Jun: 140 Turkey Vultures, 47 Bald Eagles, 49 Broad-winged Hawks, and one Swainson’s Hawk were tallied (Mike Tetlow). These curious summer movements apparently involve mainly immature birds, but the observers rarely report age.
A pair of Mississippi Kites successfully raised young at Jonesville, Saratoga Co, NY (Richard, Alison, Emily De Martino, Camden Segal). Copulation and stick-carrying were observed on 7−8 Jun (Zach Schwartz-Weinstein). This is the second known nest in NY, a pair having bred in Montgomery Co in 2010. Another pair took up residence in Pine Hill, Camden Co, NJ in Jul but breeding was not confirmed (Nancy Erickson, m. ob.).
A survey of breeding Ospreys in New Jersey in 2022 found 642 nests statewide, of which 503 pairs produced 626 young, compared with 812 young from a similar number of nests last year. Productivity was reduced by persistent onshore winds in May that made fishing difficult, though the state’s total Osprey population continues to grow (Ben Wurst, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ).
Bald Eagle nesting data for 2021 shows a stable and fully recovered population in NJ: 247 territorial pairs, 222 of which laid eggs, producing a total of 335 young (Larissa Smith, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ). According to the same source, 351 Bald Eaglets fledged in NY State.
Individual Northern Harriers were reported in DE all summer, but none of the observations suggested nesting (Frank Rohrbacher). In addition to the Swainson’s Hawk on Jun 16 at the Braddock Bay hawk watch, already mentioned, one (perhaps the same) was nearby at Irondequoit Bay, at Rochester, on 20 Jun (J. Lang).
According to one count, 15−25 pairs of Great Horned Owls live in New York City (Robert DeCandido). Whatever the number, this powerful raptor has adapted spectacularly well to human-dominated landscapes.
It is hard to find a pattern in the patchwork of Red-headed Woodpecker distribution in this region. The Ontario lakeshore is one stronghold, with 22 reports in the Rochester area alone, but there are large areas without them. A few now breed on Long Island, where two nests discovered near Manorville, Suffolk (Mike McBrien). The species’s breeding population in DE is mostly concentrated in Sussex Co.
Merlins, which have bred in NY only since 1991, occupied six sites around Rochester. After years of southward expansion, they set no new southerly limits this summer.
Yellow-bellied Flycatchers were banded at Manitou, Monroe Co, NY, on 10 Jun and 23 Jul, far from their Adirondack breeding range, their identity confirmed in the hand (Braddock Bay Bird Observatory). A Gray Kingbird, present since 30 May in North Cape May, NJ (Jesse Amesbury, Scott Reynolds, m. ob.) remained until 5 Jun (Keyara McCarthy); NJ boasts nineteen prior records of this Florida specialty.
Nowadays any Loggerhead Shrike observation in this region is worth mentioning. One was observed at Croton Point SP on the Hudson River in Westchester Co, NY 17 Jun (Phil Ribolow); another or the same was seen there on 1 Aug (Larry Trachtenberg).
Four Red-breasted Nuthatches in Central Park, New York City on 26 Jun (m. ob.) as well as individuals at Cape May on 20 and 28 Jun (Mike O’Brien, Louis Zemaitis, Tom Reed) seemed to presage an irruption, but it developed only modestly.
No Brown Creeper nest has ever been found in DE, but a pair was singing and carrying food in Blackbird SF, New Castle Co, from late May (Will Britton) into Jun (Charlotte Ward) and was seen intermittently to 30 Jun (Jason Horn).
We have reports of singing Sedge Wren from five upstate NY locations, mostly in the Great Lakes plain and the St. Lawrence River Valley. All were found in July, and it is possible that some had bred earlier elsewhere, as may happen with this species.
Clay-colored Sparrows apparently bred near Rochester, at Caledonia (Mike Wasilco) and at Hamlin (Andrew Guthrie, George Ford, m. ob.), solidifying their establishment since 1971 as breeders in upstate NY.
A Lark Sparrow photographed at Pelham Bay Park, Bronx Co, NY on 30 Jul (H. Clancy) was likely a post-breeding wanderer. A lone Dickcissel at Cape May on 18 Jul (Dan Ceravolo) was the only regional report of this species that once bred regularly in this region.
David Nicosia conducted a breeding bird survey around a nearly ten-mile loop within mixed northern hardwood forest in Beaver Meadow SF, north of Earlville, in northeastern Chenango Co, NY on 22 May. He found Ovenbirds (77) to be the commonest breeding warbler there, followed by Blackburnian Warblers (32). A singing male Kentucky warbler was at its northern limit there on 22 May. This species was found in Chenango Co during the 1980−85 NY Breeding Bird Atlas but not the 2000−2005 atlas.
Only one Lawrence’s Warbler was reported, at Green Lakes SP, Fayetteville, Onondaga Co, NY 4−8 Jun (Marc Odin). A Swainson’s Warbler sang at Higbee Beach, Cape May Co, NJ from late Apr to at least 29 Jul (m. ob.) for the fifth consecutive spring. Also at Higbee Beach, a Palm Warbler was seriously out of place on 10 Jul (Bert Hixon, m. ob.). The species does not nest south of the Adirondacks, and even there only since 1983. A lingering Yellow-throated Warbler was surprising at Bayard Cutting Arboretum, Suffolk Co, Long Island from 12 Jun through the season, far from its NY outpost in the far west of the state.
A second-year male Summer Tanager paused in Riverside Park, New York City 23−27 Jun (Karen Fung, m. ob.). This species breeds only sparingly north to Long Island and is unknown in New York City in mid-summer.
A Blue Grosbeak explored north of known breeding areas at Croton Point SP, Westchester Co, NY on 18 Jun (Jared Ganeles, m. ob.). Breeding is exceptional north of Long Island for this species. A Dark-eyed Junco remained far south of known breeding areas at the Ashton Tract of the Augustine Wildlife Area on 4 Jul (Carolyn Holland), but there was no indication of breeding, as with the more numerous summering White-throated Sparrows.
The only report of declining Rusty Blackbirds was a family group of six at Woods Lake, north of Big Moose, Herkimer Co, NY on 14 Jun (Tom and JoAnn Salo).
Report processed by Amy Davis, 16 Nov 2022.