Spring Migration Coming to a Fulfilling End

Greetings Dry Tortugas birders,

I hope everyone made the most out of this year’s spring migration, and maybe some of you made the Dry Tortugas part of the experience.  We had a couple of late fronts that blew some exciting birds down at the park, including a fork-tailed flycatcher and over tw0-hundred yellow-billed cuckoos!

Fork-tailed flycatcher in late April  after a storm.

Fork-tailed flycatcher in late April after a storm.

There has also been a regular black noddy spotted on the Bush Key tern colony for the last couple of weeks, although that particular bird continues to elude me.

Keep an eye out for bridled terns on the ride to and from the park, as they have been regular sightings while underway, and the roseate terns have been regularly sighted from the south coaling dock ruins.

The late warblers to show up were quite beautiful, including yellow, chestnut-sided, bay-breasted, magnolia, Tennessee, and Nashville.

Yellow warbler in the parade ground.

Yellow warbler in the parade ground.

Magnolia warbler near the south beach dunes.

Magnolia warbler near the south beach dunes.

Male chestnut-sided warbler at the temporary water source.

Male chestnut-sided warbler at the temporary water source.

Birders coming back for a repeat trip to the Dry Tortugas, keep in mind that the NPS has taken down the long-standing brick bird fountain from the parade ground, and temporarily replaced it with a small plastic container of fresh water. It’s no where near as large as the prior fountain, and the water does not flow, but it does seem to attract the smaller passerines. Please direct any questions about the fountain and it’s future to the National Park Rangers.

Male bay-breasted warbler in the parade ground.

Male bay-breasted warbler in the parade ground.

We also had an Antillean short-eared owl that was sighted several times over a tw0-week period in mid-April.

Antillean short-eared owl that stuck around for several weeks in mid-April.

Antillean short-eared owl that stuck around for several weeks in mid-April.

Also keep an eye out for continuing white-crowned pigeons, bobolinks, upland sandpipers, and a shiny cowbird this week!

Hope to see you out there!

Happy birding,

–Chelsea B.

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