June is the month when almost all species of birds are in some stage of nesting. That means that the birds are settled in to their preferred nesting habitats.
So, with migration essentially over, whatever birds are present at this time are likely to nest in our region. There are always some exceptions. For example, we have had some pine siskins hanging around which will migrate back north very soon. You also may see loons on some local lakes which will migrate north or to the Adirondacks. Sometimes a couple stay here all summer but those are likely immatures that are not nesting.
As for birds that will be nesting a little later…
American goldfinches wait until later July to start nesting with their young leaving the nest around late August and early September when the natural supply of weed seeds is most abundant. Cedar waxwings also tend to nest later than most birds to also synchronize their favorite food supply with nesting. That food supply is both wild and cultivated cherries and berries. It is very possible to find them nesting now but chances are much better for July and August nesting.
Both goldfinches and waxwings are very beautiful birds and they are so nice to have hanging around your yard. Now that dandelion season is over, the goldfinches have come back to the feeding station while they wait for another wave of natural seeds to ripen.
If you are interested in finding the rather elusive warblers in their nesting season right now, you need to find the specific habitat for each particular species. For example, if you want to see the common yellowthroat you will need to look in bushy marshy areas. A yellow warbler likes lots of thickets with some open areas. A hooded warbler likes the deciduous forest understory, as does the American redstart.
If you read up on the various warblers you can learn so much more about each species. Generally, if you come upon a particular species of warbler on a walk or hike, you can be pretty sure that their nest is nearby. Some nests are built up high, some built eye-level in saplings, and others are built on the ground. Again, reading up on them can make your quest for the nest a bit easier, but I can assure you that you have to be patient or lucky to find a warbler nest.
The easiest warbler nest to find would be that of the popular yellow warbler. While the female is incubating eggs, it is very difficult to find the nest. I remember on a Silver Lake Trail bird walk a few years ago we were hearing the steady call of the American redstart so close to us. We spotted the beautiful male and he had a sizeable insect in his mouth. He then took it right over to the incubating female whose nest was practically under our noses! What a wonderful and surprising sight that was. When the young are hatched, both adults often are gathering food for the young and that is your best chance for locating the nest. You may have to be very patient and willing to sit still and watch for a long time to see where the adults are going with the food.
June is a wonderful time of year to enjoy the many birds in our area. I am leading several walks and you are welcome to join me. Because of weather conditions and the need to keep the group to a size that works for all, I’m requiring preregistration. This can be done by texting me at (585) 813-2676 or calling me. I also try to keep a list of those who have expressed interest in going on a bird ID walk. Usually, I do the walk here at our home at 6340 LaGrange Rd., Wyoming. However, occasionally we will do walks at other locations such as local parks or wildlife areas. Here on the home farm, we have a good variety of habitat and a large yard with various trees, shrubs, and flowers that help attract the birds.
So, my next two walks are scheduled for Sunday June 6 and Saturday June 12 here at my home at 7 a,m, lasting until about 9 a.m. Please register via text (or call) to (585) 813-2676. Bring your binoculars and good foot wear. We will not be doing a lot of walking on these two walks. Bring a friend and we will enjoy much early summer beauty together and we will all learn something.
In the meantime, take your own walk without headphones. Without your ears, your eyes will miss many neat things. Until next time, happy birding.
Hans Kunze is an avid birder and nature enthusiast who has been writing about birds and nature for more than 30 years. He writes for the The Daily News twice each month. Contact him by text, or cell at (585) 813-2676