Kentucky Warbler, Morris County, NJ, May 9, 2015 – photo by Chris Thomas.
In most cases, mocosocoBirds shies away from publicizing sensitive species that are acting territorial. As the NJ Breeding Bird Atlas from twenty years ago illustrates, Kentucky Warbler was a breeding species in scattered parts of Morris and Somerset counties through the 1980’s and into the ’90’s. It is an annual but scarce visitor by 2015.
With regards to the current Kentucky Warbler in Morris County, the reality is that Hacklebarney is a State Park, the Kentucky Warbler is along an easily accessible main path, and from what this observer saw on Sunday morning, the number of birders, many with cameras, were very respectful of the situation and acted admirably by practicing patience to view the bird.
Kudos to John J. Collins as well for finding this warbler creating much needed publicity for this beautiful park. Hacklebarney is neglected by birders for the most part but is a location in southwest Morris County worthy of more attention. Be aware that Hacklebarney is a popular destination on weekends for families, picnickers, dog walkers, anglers and the like. Bird often, but bird early.
There has yet to be a genuine push of migrants through New Jersey in recent weeks. Birds are seeping through and breeding birds are getting in place. Blackpoll Warblers are becoming a daily sighting. Both Yellow-billed and Black-billed Cuckoos are reported. Eastern Wood-Pewees have arrived in force the past few days. Willow Flycatcher is in the Great Swamp NWR. The consensus of yesterday’s World Series of Birding and Big Day in general was that species numbers were low. It is a slow spring.
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