The Monday Bird Report
May 11, 2020 — The rest of the world is catching on to what you’ve known for a while: birding is hot. It seems the antidote to the stress of dealing with the pandemic is birdwatching.
Peak mainstream might have been a couple of Sundays ago. A New York Times editorial titled “How to Save Summer 2020” called for safely opening beaches, pools, gardens, and parks, and suggested birding:
“It’s an optimal moment to pick up the pastime — billions of birds from the warblers to the flycatchers are now migrating north …”
The Associated Press sent out a story last week about increased interest in birding, reporting that the Cornell Ornithology Lab said downloads of its Merlin ID app were up 102% over a year ago.
Kaitlyn McGrath, meteorologist at NBC CT, interviewed Connecticut Audubon Executive Director Patrick Comins via Facetime about the pleasures of birding. And when I answered my phone the other day it was Lori Mack of WNPR radio, who played a recording of birdsong outside her door, asked me to tell her what I heard, and then broadcast it as “Birdwatching Soars During Pandemic.”
Yesterday the Times published “Bored These Days? Try Watching Birds,” by David Sibley.
All I can add is: welcome, latecomers! At whichever level you participate, it’s a worthwhile way to spend your time. Even after the pandemic wanes.
The Osprey at the Coastal Center laid her third egg the other day. This morning one of the faithful Osprey Cam watchers noted this: “Awesome! I just saw the male bring a half fish to the female. When she flew off with her breakfast, he settled on the eggs.”
Take a look. Most of the time we’re live-streaming nothing more than an Osprey sitting on eggs. But every so often, like this morning, the action picks up.
The Daily Bird
Fans of the Daily Bird, take note: this is the start of Warbler Week (or maybe Warbler Week-and-a-Half). We have Cerulean, Chestnut-sided, Blue-winged, Worm-eating, Canada, Hooded, and Blackburnian set to go, plus one you’ve never seen in Connecticut — SwaInson’s Warbler.
Connecticut Audubon member Jim Dugan gave the Connecticut Ornithological Association a heads-up the other day. He wrote:
“Friendly reminder to have Swainson’s Warbler on your radar. To my ear, their song is similar to Louisiana Waterthrush with a shorter ending…. Check small ravines in hardwood forests with understory growth such as rhododendron. My bet is there is at least one, if not more, out there somewhere in CT right now and we are certainly overdue for this sneaky species to be found here.”
When and if it shows up, we’ll send you a CTAudubon Rare Bird Alert text, but you have to sign up for it.
As for the Daily Bird, you can sign up to get those one via text as well, here. Or you can subscribe to our Natural Selections blog. Enjoy! — Tom Andersen