Conservancy’s Fall Bird Migration Survey

by Jane Ahrens

Members of the Fishers Island Conservancy and another dozen volunteers met early Sunday morning on September 24 at the Community Center. With binoculars in hand and dressed for a long walk they headed out. Learn more about the 48 separate species that were observed in the Summary by Adam Mitchell, PhD candidate at the University of Delaware.

In this photo, the group obsessed over a
variety of bird called a brown thrasher.
Photo Credit: A. Sargent

2017 Fall Migratory Bird Survey Report Summary

by Adam Mitchell, PhD candidate at the University of Delaware

The Fishers Island Conservancy’s annual fall migratory bird survey occurred on September 24th, 2017. The survey consisted of a series of point counts, 15 in total, dispersed across the island at every half-mile interval. At each point, birds are recorded by sight and sound for five minutes, permitting a rapid-fire survey to address questions about the number of birds and species of birds using the island as migratory habitat. Participants include trained and amateur birdwatchers and is open to the public.

This year, a total of 48 species of bird were recorded for the survey. The greatest number of species recorded during the survey (9 species) occurred at point 1 (Race Point), point 4 (Ocean View Ave), and point 15 (Money Pond). The species of bird most frequently observed during the survey was the gray catbird (11 of 15 points). The most abundant bird species observed during the survey was also the gray catbird (35 individuals).

The survey includes one threatened species (northern harrier) and two species of concern (osprey, sharp-shinned hawk) for the state of New York. Given the island’s proximity to the coast of Connecticut, we also report bird species that are classified as endangered, threatened, or species of concern for that state. We report two endangered species (northern harrier, sharp-shinned hawk), and four species of concern (American kestrel, brown thrasher, northern parula, saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrow). We detected 5 species of warbler (common yellowthroat, northern parula, prairie warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, and yellow warbler).

We provide a complete list of species below:

American crow
American goldfinch
American kestrel
American robin
Barred owl
Belted kingfisher
Black-capped chickadee
Black vulture
Blue jay
Brown thrasher
Canada goose
Carolina wren
Cedar waxwing
Common grackle
Common raven
Common yellowthroat
Double-crested cormorant
Downy woodpecker
Eastern kingbird
Eastern phoebe
Eastern towhee
European starling
Gray catbird
Greater black-backed gull

Herring gull
House finch
Mourning dove
Mute swan
Northern cardinal
Northern flicker
Northern harrier
Northern mockingbird
Northern parula
Prairie warbler
Red-bellied woodpecker
Red-wing blackbird
Ruby-throated hummingbird
Saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrow
Sharp-shinned hawk
Song sparrow
Tree swallow
Tufted titmouse
White-breasted nuthatch
White-eyed vireo
Yellow-rumped warbler
Yellow warbler

From Island Naturalist Justine Kibbe:
Autumn Bird Migration Survey Chat
My Neck of The Woods Radio

Out in the field I caught up with Conservancy’s Autumn Bird Migration Survey and chatted with birds of a feather Adam Mitchell & Will Almeida; discovering 48 bird species in a day that depend on our Island’s healthy native habitat.

(After clicking the PLAY button, listeners may need to click the audio button in the lower right corner of the image below to hear the conversation.)

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

A Fishers Island Community Center Program and the accompanying Fog Horn eNewsletter serve as the communications resource for the Fishers Island community. The content – news, calendar, links and photos, milestones, ads, and more create a clear image of Fishers to those on and off the island.

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