Yellow-crowned night heron. — Lanny McDowell

A number of birders have reported fewer birds at their feeders: Kathy Landers in Edgartown, Jeri Danzig, Pat Ingalls and Lisa Maxfield in Oak Bluffs, Daisy Kimberly in West Tisbury, Carol Anne in Vineyard Haven, and Teresa Fallon and Sarah Murphy elsewhere.

This is absolutely normal: the breeding season is well underway and most birds prefer high-protein insects over bird seed, so they do not attend bird feeders as much. This decrease is especially notable if, by chance, many of your birds start nesting at the same time. Fortunately, it is a short-term decrease; beware the influx of fledglings in a few weeks.

Northward migration continues into June but is starting to slow down. There were only four new species for the year this week. Ken Magnuson spotted a yellow-crowned night heron at the Edgartown Golf Club on May 14. Patsy and Steve Donovan visited Blackwater Pond on May 14 and heard the distinctive call of a yellow-billed cuckoo. Rachel Lewis found a spotted sandpiper on State Beach on May 18. Shea Fee found a magnolia warbler at Wasque on May 18.

Ovenbird. — Lanny McDowell

Fortunately for this column, the sighting does not have to be new species for the year. Bob Shriber, Susan Whiting, Sarah Mayhew and Nancy Nordin saw an American bittern near the Gay Head Cliffs on May 21. Lisa Maxfield watched three snowy egrets get chased off Brush Pond by a lone Canada goose on May 17. That same day, Heidi Macy spotted a lone snowy egret along the shores of Lake Tashmoo. Another report of a cattle egret came via Bob Shriber: Robin and Laura Decker observed one along Lighthouse Road on May 7. That cattle egret sighting joins the three reports mentioned in last week’s column.

Wood thrushes are amazing songbirds; most observers appreciate their flute-like melody that can sing two distinct notes at the same time. Nancy Nordin found one at Great Rock Bight and another at Fulling Mill Brook on May 18. Bob Shriber spotted two in Aquinnah on May 20, and the troika of Shea Fee, Nancy Weaver and Margaret Curtin heard three off North Road in Chilmark on May 21.

Black and white warbler. — Lanny McDowell

Yellow-throated warblers have a loud conspicuous song too, although not as complex as that of the wood thrush. This bird — seen along John Hoft Road — seems to be fairly tame and is almost always seen by itself. Penny Uhlendorf and Scott Stephens found it on May 13 and on May 19 it was found by Nancy Nordin, Susan Whiting, Sea Williams and Bridget Dunnigan.

Other warblers spotted this week are species that breed here, and most of these sightings are of two to ten individuals. Most of these sightings were along the north shore: black and white warblers were seen by Bob Shriber at Great Rock Bight on May 14 and in Aquinnah on May 20; Nancy Nordin at Great Rock Bight on May 15, 16 and 18; and I found one at West Chop Woods on May 21.

Some species are really quite common now: there were 10 sightings of ovenbirds, common yellowthroat and yellow warblers; six sightings of American redstarts, pine warblers and northern parulas; five sightings of prairie warblers; and four sightings of blue-winged warblers. A single lingering yellow-rumped warbler — most of them leave fairly early — was spotted by Nancy Nordin at Fulling Mill Brook on May 18. One of the last warblers to migrate through is the blackpoll warbler, which was observed by Heidi Macy near Lake Tashmoo on May 17.

Red-eyed vireos had 20 sightings this past week, almost always with several of them. White-eyed vireos are less common; by my recollection we have not confirmed that they breed here yet, although they are present every year at Great Rock Bight. This year Ken Magnuson found them at Menemsha Hills on May 21.

Magnolia warbler. — Lanny McDowell

Great crested flycatchers just arrived this month but now they are present in most woodlands. Eastern kingbirds live in fields and have been rather abundant, with a dozen sightings this week from Aquinnah to Wasque. Eastern wood pewees are gradually becoming more common, with three sightings this week: Nancy Nordin found one at Fulling Mill Brook on May 18, two were found at Great Rock Bight by the quartet of Nancy Nordin, Susan Whiting, Bridget Dunnigan and Sea Williamson on May 19, Richard Couse heard one at the Hoft farm on May 20, and the troika of Shea Fee, Nancy Weaver and Margaret Curtin found one off North Road in Chilmark on May 21. Phoebes are widespread, have been here for maybe six weeks, and likely have already fledged their first brood.

On May 15 Nancy Nordin found a solitary cedar waxwing at Great Rock Bight. On May 21 Sherry Countryman observed a flock of them at the Oak Bluffs pumping station while Rich Couse saw six at the Hoft Farm.

Waterbirds are arriving, too. Belted kingfishers have been seen by Nancy Nordin at the Oak Bluffs pumping station on May 17; David Benvent between Stonewall and Nashaquitsa ponds on May 19; and on May 21 both. the troika of Shea Fee, Nancy Weaver and Margaret Curtin spotted one off North Road in Chilmark on May 21, and I found one at Mink Meadows. Green herons were found by Walt Looney at Sheriff’s Meadow Sanctuary on May 14, Silas Beers at Felix Neck on May 15, Margaret Curtin on the west shore of Lagoon Pond on May 19, and by Sharon Simonin at Farm Pond on May 21. I found one at Mink Meadows, also on May 21.

Male orchard oriole. — Lanny McDowell

Some species just demand your attention. One of those is the scarlet tanager. On May 19 Katie Carroll reported, ”I’m not a birder, but when a scarlet tanager appeared at the Menemsha Crossroads. its vibrant red body with dark wings was hard to miss!” Other sightings are from Patsy and Steve Donovan at Blackwater Pond on May 14 and Steven Seltman at Felix Neck on May 19. And the sightings on May 21 come from Bob Shriber in Aquinnah, the troika of Shea Fee, Nancy Weaver and Margaret Curtin off North Road in Chilmark, the quartet of Nancy Nordin, Sarah Mayhew, Susan Whiting and Bob Shriber at the Gay Head Cliffs, and Rich Couse at the Hoft Farm.

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Robert Culbert is an ecological consultant with Nature Watch LLC, living in Vineyard Haven.