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Posts Tagged ‘Passerines’

During the past few weeks, we have enjoyed watching the migrating passerines that pause to rest and refuel on Petit Manan. On the mainland, many migrants are spread far and wide throughout expansive forest habitat, often bouncing around high in the trees. However, here on PMI we have the rare opportunity to see songbirds up-close in the intertidal. Flies buzzing among the rockweed provide a perfect meal for these hungry birds. Since Petit Manan covers 16 acres and has only one tree (a twisted spruce that is a few feet tall), migrants are easily visible and concentrated within a small area. It seems almost surreal to find Blackburnian Warblers like this one hopping along the rocks, since this species normally feeds high in the treetops.

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Wilson’s Warbler

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Ovenbird

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Black-and-White Warbler

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Northern Parula

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Magnolia Warbler

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White-throated Sparrow (top) and Black-throated Blue Warbler (bottom)

Many of these migrants have traveled all the way from wintering grounds in Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. It is amazing to think that such tiny birds can travel this far, and continue even further northward to breed. Passerines often travel by night to avoid predation, and we sometimes hear them calling after dark as they resume their journeys.

We look forward to having more migrant visitors, and adding to our quickly growing bird list!

-Anna

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Petit Manan Island is a great place to watch spring migration as birds travel through the Gulf of Maine heading northward – many of them on their way to breeding grounds in boreal forest, taiga, and tundra habitats. We’ve sighted many exciting migrants in the past few weeks, especially warblers including: American Redstarts, Black-and-white, Yellow-rumped, Common Yellowthroat, Magnolia, Wilson’s, Yellow, Blackburnian, Black-throated Green, Black-throated Blue, Blackpoll, and Chestnut-sided Warblers. The fog has been heavy for the past few days, so many of the birds that stopped over on the island have delayed their departure, which means we have had extra time to view these distinct, colorful avian wonders. The Black-throated Blue Warbler pictured has been fastidiously feeding on insects at the north end of the island for at least three days now while waiting for the weather to break.  The migrating passerines have kept us on our toes and the binoculars glued to our faces. Stay tuned, we have a full season ahead!

Black-throated Blue Warbler fluffs his feathers

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