Sunday, May 28, 2017

Henslow's Sparrow at Shawangunk - 28th May

In midweek a report came in of a Henslow's Sparrow singing at Shawangunk Grassland NWR. The habitat is good for them, and they've bred there in the past, but not for a few years. I read that a habitat management plan went a bit wrong a few years ago and the handful that were hanging on disappeared. Attempts have been made since then to correct the errors, and it looks like they might be paying off. Whatever the backstory, I had my Sunday sorted! I got up there early enough, and the bird was performing magnificently from the word go. For 11 months of the year Ammodramus sparrows crawl around in long grass and are nigh-on impossible to see. Come breeding season however, they're straight up on a perch belting out the love songs. A nice bonus was a breeding plumage Dickcissel about 100 yards further down the track, basically doing the same thing.

Other birds on the area included many Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlarks, Tree Swallows, and a singing Willow Flycatcher.

Henslow's Sparrow looking for love.


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