[CT Birds] Hoppin tree! - Finding migrants

Greg Hanisek ghanisek at rep-am.com
Wed Sep 12 16:28:56 EDT 2012

Paul's experience offers a good hint for anyone who finds looking for fall 
passerine migrants more difficult or frustrating than finding them in the 
spring. (And it is both, because of lack of song and because trees/shrubs 
are still heavily leafed).

One important thing is persistence, because flocks of warblers and others 
songbirds aren't uniformly distributed over even good habitat. If the first 
place has nothing, try the second, then the third (when Paul struck it 

A second is the rising sun that Paul mentioned. Look for birds in places 
bathed by the morning sun. Look for a "green wall," a place where a nice 
wall of trees meets open habitat such as a field, a powerline, a cemetery or 
even your yard.

Third, listen for activity by noisy common birds such as chickadees and 
titmice. Feeding flocks of warblers, vireos etc will often merge with these 
feeding groups. It pays to be alert for this activity wherever you are, 
because the feeding groups can materialize in places where you aren't 
expecting them. On the otherhand, if you find a good flock one day, try that 
place again another day.

Of course weather plays a big role. We've just come off a couple days of 
excellent migration conditions with clear nights and northerly winds. I've 
found some nice groups of migrants both days just by working my way around 
my usual birding spots near home.

When passerines are on the move feeding, they can be found in any native 
trees, but there are a few planted types that can be very productive - 
planted spruces (mostly Norway spruce, which are huge and widespread); 
willows (both planted weeping willows and scrubbier native ones); and 
planted birches. The scrubby willows and planted birches can be especially 
productive later in the fall as the warblers are thinning out.

Greg Hanisek

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carrier Graphics" <carriergraphics at sbcglobal.net>
To: <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 11:07 AM
Subject: [CT Birds] Hoppin tree!

> Went to Bakerville Swamp New Hartford this morning at 8 - one word - Dead!
> Went to Brody Park South - Dead! Went to side rd off Niles Rd - Wow!
> In an open overgrown field next to the woods, is an old 80' tall Black 
> Spruce
> tree,
> dripping with cones ,being exposed to the rising east sun .
> In 15 mins, I spotted the following birds within this one tree:
> 2-Blackburn Warbler
> 1- Magnolia
> 1 - Blackpoll
> 2- Yellow rump
> 1 - Bay breasted
> 1 - Pine
> 3 - Black-t-Green
> 1 - Redstart
> 1 -Wood pewee
> 2 - Phoebe
> 15 - Purple Finch-flew out of tree top when I got there.
> 1-Mockingbird
> 2 - BC Chickadee
> 1 - Titmouse
> 6- Im Sapsucker!
> 1 - Downy Woodpecker
> 1 - Red-bellied Woodpecker
> 1 - Blue headed Vireo
> 2 - C Waxwing -(25 all around)
> 3 - Goldfinch
> 3 - Chipping Sparrow
> 2 - Blue jay ........22 species in one tree in 15 minutes! (Gota be a 
> record for
> me)
> Many were flycatching from this dense tree, perched at branch tips -
> otherwise i would not have seen them.
> Also in/under Apple tree, 10 feet from Spruce in this field were:
> 3 Junco
> 2 - White-t-Sparrow
> 2- Song Sparrow
> 1 -Catbird
> 1 -Cardinal
> 1 - House Wren
> 1 - Ruby-crowned Kinglet
> I needed to leave for Apt, otherwise with time, I might have added
> many more birds using that one Spruce tree!
> Paul Carrier - Harwinton
> _______________________________________________
> This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) 
> for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
> For subscription information visit 
> http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org

More information about the CTBirds mailing list