The last of the songbird migrants are arriving. Some warblers, orioles, hummingbirds and thrushes have already made an appearance but they don’t all show up at once so new individuals will continue to trickle in. Traditionally we expect the final showing for warblers to be highlighted by species such as the Mourning Warbler and Blackpoll Warbler. The Blackpoll heads into the boreal forest to breed.
Now we are seeing the species that come at the very end of the migration, which lasts from late May into early June. Among them are several of the flycatchers as well as cuckoos. Most flycatchers are small greenish birds with an unmarked breast, several with whitish wing bars. They are slow moving, waiting patiently on a branch for an insect to fly by. The Great Crested Flycatcher is a large, colourful species inhabiting woodland habitats with large trees. It is more often heard than seen. The Black-billed Cuckoo is seldom seen but its call, a long series of short ‘toots’ interspersed with a brief pause gives it away. Most of my sightings have been birds flying across the road. Their long tail really stands out.
By Brian Morin
Publisher of Ontario Birding News