Posted on April 30, 2016

As is common this spring, the morning was chilly when 37 birders arrived at the Arborway Gate for a ninety minute bird walk. By the time we ended, more than two hours later, the temperature heated up, and so did the birding. The landscape was quiet for the first hour or so but a few birds revealed themselves and gave good looks to the crowd. We saw a goody number of lingering White-throats:

A brightly plumaged White-throated Sparrow.

The more seasonal Chipping Sparrows could be heard often but were harder to see:

The diminutive Chipping Sparrow showing it’s rusty cap.

The Arnold Arboretum is first and foremost a tree museum, so we spent some time looking at plants opening up to spring. Along Oak Path we admired several clusters of the protected Large-flowered Trillium, a spring delight!

Picking parts off of a trillium plant can kill it even if the rhizome is left undisturbed, so leave them alone!

Of course the birds most sought after right now are the warblers. Some of us managed to see a Palm Warbler briefly:

A somewhat washed out Palm Warbler in a cherry tree in bloom.

We had better luck with a (first of year for me) Black and White Warbler; everyone got a look at it after a keen eyed person spotted it high on the big branches of an oak.

Black and White Warbler. Someone in our group compared it to a zebra!

We tried to hear or see Pine Warblers in several places without success. Next week should be better for this species as we will bird in conifer forest habitat.

Yellow-rumps were everywhere:

One of the earliest warblers to arrive, the Yellow-rumped Warbler, is very common for a few weeks and then gone as they move north to breeding territory.

We picked up new species one by one, ending with a bird we really wanted to see but had only heard during the walk:

Baltimore Oriole, male

I always try to get as many species on my walks as we have people in the group; today was a big challenge given the turnout. But we came close. Not everyone got to see every bird, but most folks got pretty good looks at many of them. Here is today’s list:

Arnold Arboretum, Suffolk, Massachusetts,

Apr 30, 2016 8:00 AM – 10:30 AM

34 species

  • Canada Goose 2
  • Double-crested Cormorant 8
  • Red-tailed Hawk 1
  • Herring Gull 2
  • Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 4
  • Mourning Dove 8
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
  • Downy Woodpecker 2
  • Northern Flicker 5
  • Blue-headed Vireo 1
  • Warbling Vireo 3
  • Blue Jay 5
  • American Crow 1
  • Tree Swallow 2
  • Black-capped Chickadee 2
  • White-breasted Nuthatch 2
  • American Robin 45
  • Gray Catbird 1
  • Northern Mockingbird 1
  • European Starling 4
  • Black-and-white Warbler 1
  • Yellow Warbler 3
  • Palm Warbler 1
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler 9
  • Chipping Sparrow 4
  • Dark-eyed Junco 1
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow 6
  • Northern Cardinal 4
  • Red-winged Blackbird 15
  • Common Grackle 10
  • Baltimore Oriole 1
  • American Goldfinch 1
  • House Sparrow 3

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Next Saturday the walk will begin from the Peters Hill Gate on Bussey Street at 8:00 AM. In addition to more spring migrants, we’ll check out this year’s Great Horned Owl nest hoping that the last owlet may still be on nest, or that we will get a look at an adult lurking nearby or one of the two remaining fledglings. Hope you can join us!

Good birding!

Post Script: I’ll be doing the Bird-a-thon again this year for Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center. If you’re inclined to support this effort, and the wonderful programs that BNC provides for urban children, Check out my page.

Posted in Arnold Arboretum, Avian, Bird walks, Plants