Tag Archives: Warblers

Connecticut Warblers

Connecticut Warbler

Connecticut Warbler (click to see the larger version)

Late May is prime time for Connecticut Warblers at Montrose. We’ve had multiple sightings so far this spring. The best way to find them is to listen for their loud, distinctive song. Two were at Montrose on May 26, and both were located because they were singing. Good recordings of Connecticut Warbler songs are on YouTube.

May 12, 2022 – Warblers

Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler (click to see the larger version)

Continuing the migration splendor for the week, Thursday, May 12 was the best warbler day of the spring at Montrose. I ended up with 26 species, which is about as good as we do. If you were at Montrose on that day you couldn’t help but be impressed with the volume and variety of warblers. My best finds include

Worm-eating Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Blue-winged Warbler
Golden-winged Warbler (3)
Northern Parula (3)
Mourning Warbler
Canada Warbler

Of the regularly occurring warblers, Worm-eating is the rarest and least expected. In addition, the large numbers of Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, and Blackburnian were a joy to look at. We wait all year for a handful of days with color like this. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.

eBird Checklist
May 12, 2022

Bay-breasted Warbler Bonanza, October 2, 2021

Bay-breasted Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler. Photo courtesy of Craig Millard. (click to see the larger version)

I don’t think anyone had high expectations for October 2. BirdCast and radar didn’t indicate a strong movement overnight, and the last few days have been flat for migrants at Montrose. Early October is usually an excellent time for warblers and sparrows, but the number of Bay-breasted Warblers exceeded anything I’ve experienced before. They were the most common warbler and at times seemed to be everywhere, including on the ground feeding. My final Bay-breasted count was 16. Not surprisingly, eBird wanted details as this is a big number for a bird that isn’t abundant in Chicago. We also had large numbers of Tennessee and Black-throated Green Warblers. I’m not sure what caused this incursion of Boreal forest breeding warblers, as we’ve been experiencing unseasonably mild weather and few cold fronts, which are usually the impetus for birds to move in the fall. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.

eBird Checklist
October 2, 2021

September 7, 2021

Olive-sided Flycatcher

Olive-sided Flycatcher (click to see the larger version)

I spent about three hours birding Montrose on September 7 and it was time well spent. I tallied 51 species for my effort and saw a number of personal first of season birds. According to eBird, almost 80 species were recorded by all observers. Swainson’s Thrushes have arrived and they seemed to be everywhere. The dogwood north of the Magic Hedge and the cherry trees in the meadow were flush with them. My highlights include

Baird’s Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
Black-billed Cuckoo
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Golden-winged Warbler
Northern Parula

Additionally, swarms of Chimney Swifts were moving south over the Point. I estimated 600 but that total is likely conservative. Link to my eBIrd checklist for the day below.

eBird Checklist
September 7, 2021

Picking Up (Migration, That Is), August 16, 2021

Baltimore Oriole

Adult male Baltimore Oriole (click to see the larger version)

We’re about a month from peak landbird migration but we’ve been getting a steady trickle of Empidonax flycatchers, cuckoos, Baltimore Orioles, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, and a few warblers, all expected late summer/early fall migrants. On the flip side, the Tree, Bank, and Northern Rough-winged Swallows that were such a visual and noisy presence in the Dunes have moved on. We’re still seeing Barn Swallows and Purple Martins, but the martins are getting restless and will be gone in a few weeks. Link to my eBird checklist for August 16 below.

eBird Checklist
August 16, 2021

June 4, 2121 – More Late Migrants

Olive-sided Flycatcher

Olive-sided Flycatcher (click to see the larger version)

Migration is still going on, although at a reduced rate. Just two weeks ago Montrose was overrun with warblers and other migrant passerines. Today I had only two obvious warbler migrants. This shows how fast spring migration winds down. Birds are in a hurry to get to their breeding grounds and they don’t linger long. Bonafide migrants I had at Montrose on June 4

Dunlin
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Mourning Warbler
American Redstart

It’s hard to believe that in just a few weeks the first southbound migrants will start appearing at Montrose. Link to my eBird checklist for the morning below.

eBird Checklist
June 4, 2021