3 May 2012: Starr’s Comments on the Week

Wednesday was a day birders dream of. On my six-hour walk we experienced 70 bird species including 20 warblers plus orioles, tanagers, vireos, hummingbirds, and much more.

Since the trees leafed out early, it was a challenge, but 24 of us managed to see most of them. Finally migrants were here in numbers. It was thrilling, and will be repeated a number of times in the next few weeks.

As we were birding between Warbler Rock and the Rustic Shelter in the early afternoon, I happened to have a flashback to the mid-1970s (great, we were all younger!). Actually, it was the birds I was remembering. We have the same species now, minus a few, but in much shorter supply. You’ve heard the term “trees dripping with warblers” — now, at best, they leak a little. A big oak with fifteen warblers in it is thrilling; a tree with fifty birds is that much more so. I don’t really mean to strike a negative chord. Let’s always enjoy and treasure what we have now, but let’s also do whatever we can to protect it for future generations. See you in the Park — it’s going to be a great week!

Good birding,