2022 Spring Migratory Bird Count Surpasses Average Count For Fishers Island

Birders gather May 8 in the John Thatcher Native Garden next to Movie Theater. Tom Sargent Photo

Sunday, May 8 was a great day for birding! Dr. Adam Mitchell of Tarleton State University led a group of enthusiastic volunteers who counted birds from the West End to the East End of Fishers Island, following Audubon Bird Count rules.

“We observed a total of 52 species during the migration count, and 58 species overall for the weekend.” Dr. Mitchell said. “To put that in perspective, the average migration count over the past eight years is 47 in the spring and 39 in the fall.

“According to birdcast.info (a great migration tool!), however, the predicted overall migration rate for birds this spring was low. The late spring, compounded by cold and windy weather, kept many of our overwintering and migrant birds on the Island.

“More recent migrants, like warblers, vireos and other passerines (perching birds), were  forced to wait out our recent storm front by hiding in the dense undergrowth, rather than gleaning from the exposed tree branches, so our detection on these birds was likely to be fairly low.

“Of note was the unusual amount of brown-headed cowbirds in the mix,” Dr. Mitchell said. “It’s possible that these migrants were blown in from the storm. The bird count list is below:

American black duck

American crow

American goldfinch

American robin

Baltimore oriole

Barn swallow

Black-and-white warbler

Black-capped chickadee

Blackburnian warbler

Blue-winged warbler

Brown-headed cowbird

Blue-gray gnatcatcher

Blue jay

Canada goose

Carolina wren

Chimney swift

Chipping sparrow

Common eider

Common grackle

Common loon

Common raven

Common tern

Dark-eyed junco

Double-crested cormorant

Downey woodpecker

Eastern towhee

European starling

Fish crow

Gray catbird

Great black-backed gull

Great egret

Herring gull

House finch

House sparrow

House wren



Mourning dove

Mute swan

Northern cardinal

Northern flicker

Northern harrier

Northern parula


Red-bellied woodpecker

Red-tailed hawk

Red-winged blackbird

Ring-necked pheasant

Ruby-crowned kinglet

Ruby-throated hummingbird

Song sparrow

Tufted titmouse

Tree swallow

Turkey vulture

White-breasted nuthatch

White-throated sparrow

Yellow-rumped warbler

Yellow warbler