Sibley – Warblers

Sibley – Warblers

Ambience: yellow warbler

JM: This month, a whole cadre of bird watchers will be up at the crack of dawn, and out looking and listening for warblers. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

DS: “Warblers means spring to bird watchers.”

JM: We’re in New York’s Central Park, with David Allen Sibley, artist and author of Sibley’s Guide to Birds.

“In eastern U.S. it’s the warbler migration that marks the beginning of spring. The real flood of spring migration, usually coincides with the opening of the leaves on the trees after a long winter in this area or New England. To suddenly have in late April, these thirty species of brightly colored birds with these nice cheerful songs suddenly flitting through the trees at the same time that the trees are flowering, the leaves are opening up, the days are getting warmer, it really heightens the sense of spring.”

There are about 35 species of warblers that visit the New York area this time of year, and being able to correctly identify them is one of the things that separates a serious bird watcher from an ordinary mortal.

“And they are a challenge to identify. It’s a challenge this time of year to sort out all the different songs. The plumages are pretty distinctive still, just that number of birds, it gets into some confusion with how many of them are yellow with streaks, and how many are yellow without streaks, and how many have wing bars.”

The warblers are enroute from Central America and the Southern United States on their way towards their Northern nesting grounds. The Cape May, the Black throated, the Yellow-rumped, the Chestnut-sided – just a few of the warblers you might see and hear this month. Their fleeting presence makes them all the more enjoyable – even to those of us who don’t know the name of every species. Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Sibley - Warblers

The "Holy Grail" of bird watching is finding and identifying warblers, and the best month to go on this quest is May.
Air Date:05/23/2008
Scientist:
Transcript:

Sibley - Warblers

Ambience: yellow warbler

JM: This month, a whole cadre of bird watchers will be up at the crack of dawn, and out looking and listening for warblers. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

DS: "Warblers means spring to bird watchers."

JM: We're in New York's Central Park, with David Allen Sibley, artist and author of Sibley's Guide to Birds.

"In eastern U.S. it's the warbler migration that marks the beginning of spring. The real flood of spring migration, usually coincides with the opening of the leaves on the trees after a long winter in this area or New England. To suddenly have in late April, these thirty species of brightly colored birds with these nice cheerful songs suddenly flitting through the trees at the same time that the trees are flowering, the leaves are opening up, the days are getting warmer, it really heightens the sense of spring."

There are about 35 species of warblers that visit the New York area this time of year, and being able to correctly identify them is one of the things that separates a serious bird watcher from an ordinary mortal.

"And they are a challenge to identify. It's a challenge this time of year to sort out all the different songs. The plumages are pretty distinctive still, just that number of birds, it gets into some confusion with how many of them are yellow with streaks, and how many are yellow without streaks, and how many have wing bars."

The warblers are enroute from Central America and the Southern United States on their way towards their Northern nesting grounds. The Cape May, the Black throated, the Yellow-rumped, the Chestnut-sided - just a few of the warblers you might see and hear this month. Their fleeting presence makes them all the more enjoyable - even to those of us who don't know the name of every species. Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.