This past week of surveys can be described as extreme temperature changes. With the beginning of the week in the 80’s and the weekend cold and snowy. Eight new species (Chipping, Field, Lincoln’s, and Swamp Sparrows, House Wren, N. Rough-winged Swallow, Wild Turkey, and Palm Warbler) were added this week bringing the total to 69 species now. Some species were expected, and a couple were early birds. The two species that were earlier than usual were Lincoln’s Sparrow and the Palm Warbler. Both species breed in Northern Michigan and not around the Kalamazoo Area. The Chipping, Field and Swamp Sparrows are all expected this time of year although Field Sparrows in Kleinstuck are unusual since it is not quite the appropriate habitat with Field Sparrows preferring open grassy habitat. When doing a daily survey, you get to see changes in migrating birds’ day to day with certain species being more common one day than another species the next. On the night of April 12 there must have been a large movement of Yellow-rumped Warblers because the survey on Wednesday there were Yellow-rumps everywhere and then the next day there were not as many Yellow-rumps but lots of Hermit Thrush. The cold weather has now kind of stalled anything new coming at this time. Some species that could be expected this coming week are Blue-headed Vireo, Black-throated Green and Black-and-White Warblers, and maybe a Common Yellowthroat.
Photo: Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)