Photos courtesy of Karl Gerstenberger
Birding is exciting year round. During spring migration, many species rest and feed on the island during their long northbound trip. Warblers galore! Some are here to stay (chestnut-sided, black and white, black-throated green, black-throated blue, yellow-rumped, common yellowthroat, redstart) and some have farther to go (Wilson’s, bay-breasted, blackpoll). Other songbirds include scarlet tanager, thrushes, flycatchers, white-throated sparrow, and year-round residents such as chickadees, nuthatches, tufted titmouse, and several woodpecker species.
Shorebirds and waterfowl abound around the island, varying with the season. Spotted sandpipers breed along the island’s shore. In late summer, black-bellied plover and various sandpipers can be seen picking the shoreline with gulls (herring, ring-billed, and great black-backed gull). Fall and winter is the best time to find loons and seaducks rafting offshore, including ruddy, long-tailed, bufflehead, goldeneyes, and three species of scoter. Birders can also find occasional surprises – American widgeon, phalaropes, razorbill, and northern goshawk. Sears Island is regaled as a birding hotspot!
It’s likely that there are more bird species visiting the island than what has been seen so far. You can help us complete our list of Sears Island birds by reporting your observations to us. You may also help by joining our Inaturalist project “Animals and Plants of Sears Island” and submitting your observations and photographs there.
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