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New Jersey Catbird
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Sommer Park Preserve, Hopewell, New Jersey
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Spring 2011
Hannah Suthers

Again, the one-word summary of spring was 'early'. The vernal puddles were iced over on March 3, but on 6 March there were hundreds of Wood Frog egg masses. Spotted Salamander spermatophores appeared on March 7, egg masses on March 10, along with singing Spring Peepers, compared with March 18 last year. Heavy rain on March 10 was followed by snow, sleet, rain, on April 1, then 60 on April 3. The spring ephemeral wildflowers started their succession of bloom on April 14. A Cabbage White Butterfly was seen on April 20, a Spring Azure on April 24, Tiger Swallowtail on 6 May. A brown bat was over the puddles on April 24. Green Frogs appeared on April 27.

By mid-March large, mixed flocks of blackbirds were coming through. The resident and temperate migrant breeding birds started nesting early. The Neotropical migrants were a few days early, but again appearing after early bud-break was well underway. Fourteen species of Warblers appeared on May 5. Bird species lists at the Featherbed Lane Bird Banding Station were large, expanding from 30 species in March, to 69 species by April 30, 59 species on our Birdathon day May 14, accumulating 84 species in May and 99 species over the three months.

The groups are: 3 remaining Overwinter, 28 Residents, 24 Temperate Migratory Breeders, 19 Neotropical Passage Migrants, and 25

Neotropical Breeding Migrants. Arrival/sighting dates are as follows:

Great Blue Heronfrog pond, April
Turkey and Black Vultureroost dispersed in March
Northern Harriermale March 29
Sharp-shinned HawkMarch 1, (pair) April 7
Cooper's HawkMay 3
Red-shouldered Hawk(pair) April 7, (1) April 30, May 19, 20
Red-tailed Hawkthroughout
Wood Ducklost duckling on May 14
Wild TurkeyApril 23
American WoodcockMarch 4, increasing to 8
Eastern Screech OwlMarch 1, May 22
Woodpeckers: Red-bellied, Downy, Hairy,
   Flicker, Pileatedthroughout
Willow FlycatcherApril 27, May 28
Eastern PhoebeMay 5, nest material May 9
Great-crested FlycatcherApril 30 throughout
Eastern KingbirdMay 14 (nearby hayfields)
Chimney Swifts(3) in old tree May 5, 14
N. Rough-winged SwallowsMay 5
Barn Swallows appearedApril 11 increasing to 5 pair
Tree Swallow nestApril 24
Black-capped Chickadeethrough April
Carolina Chickadeethroughout
Hybrid Chickadeenest May 3, food May 14
White-breasted Nuthatchnest May 9, food May 30
Carolina Wren1 (5 singing males in 2010)
House WrenApril 20 throughout
Ruby-crowned KingletApril 10
Blue-gray GnatcatcherMay 1, building nest May 3
E. Bluebirdnesting May 3
VeeryMay 5
Swainson's ThrushMay 8
Hermit ThrushApril 21, 22
Wood ThrushApril 27
American Robinthroughout
Gray CatbirdApril 24
N. Mockingbirdthroughout
Brown ThrasherMay 14
Cedar Waxwing(6) April 20
European Starlingthroughout
White-eyed vireoMay 3
Yellow-throated VireoMay 7, 28, 29
Philadelphia VireoApril 10
Red-eyed VireoMay 3
Black-and-white WarblerMay 14
Blue-winged WarblerApril 30
Nashville WarblerMay 5
Northern ParulaMay 5
Yellow WarblerApril 20
Magnolia WarblerMay 22
Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warblerlast seen May 5
Black-throated Green WarblerMay 5
Black-throated Blue WarblerMay 5
Blackburnian WarblerMay 5
Chestnut-sided WarblerMay 5, 14
Bay-breasted WarblerMay 5
Blackpoll WarblerMay 6, 14, 21
Pine WarblerApril 5
Prairie WarblerMay 22, 29
OvenbirdApril 24
Louisiana WaterthrushMay 5
Northern WaterthrushMay 22
Common YellowthroatApril 24
American RedstartMay 5, 14, 22
Scarlet Tanager pairApril 26
Northern Cardinalthroughout
Rose-breasted GrosbeakApril 26
Indigo BuntingMay 5, 14, 22, 29
Rufous-sided TowheeApril 8
Chipping SparrowApril 6
Field SparrowApril 8
Fox SparrowApril 3
Song Sparrowthroughout
White-throated Sparrowlast seen April 25
Slate-colored Juncolast seen April 25
Common GrackleMarch 15, large flocks
Brown-headed CowbirdMarch 19
Red-winged Blackbirdflock March 15
Rusty Blackbird(150) March 15, (1) March 17
BobolinksMay 9, 14, (nearby hayfields)
Baltimore OrioleApril 28
Purple Finchlast seen April 22
House Finchthroughout
American Goldfinchthroughout
House Sparrowthroughout
Hannah Suthers and the Featherbed Lane Banding Station Crew
Last revision: Friday, February 8, 2013