Birds of Albany County Part II

Last Friday I started the process of looking Wilbur Webster Judd’s account in 1907 of the Birds of Albany County and whether they still hold true today.  Part I, last week dealt with Thrushes.

This weeks chapter is short, dealing with the two Kinglet species in the area, plus one more.

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet:

Judd:  Judd notes that the Ruby-Crowned Kinglet is more common than most observers realize in Albany County, and he notes seeing large numbers in the spring in Washington Park in Albany.  He notes that they breed from the northern border of the state northward.

Raup:  Ruby-Crowned Kinglets are common both in Fall and Spring.  In Spring they are an early arrival, their song, along with their cousin help to liven up the still slumbering woods.  While Ruby-Crowned Kinglets may have expanded their range somewhat in the Adirondacks (or observers are getting to previously unknown areas), they still have not bred in Albany County, although their may be suitable habitat in parts of Partridge Run WMA.

Golden-Crowned Kinglet:

Judd:  Lists this species as a common winter visitant and also states that its breeding habits are exactly the same as Ruby-Crowned Kinglet.

RaupGolden-Crowned Kinglets are fairly common in winter in the Albany area in both urban and rural areas.  They are seldom found far from conifers and often in mature woods.  Judd was incorrect in the nesting habits of the Golden-Crowned Kinglet, which is an uncommon, but widespread breeder above 1000′ in the area.

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher:

Judd:  There is no mention of this species in Judd’s book.

RaupBlue Gray-Gnatcatcher over the last 20-50 years has steadily moved up the Hudson Valley and is well established, although still rather uncommon in the area.  This species is found reliably at several Albany area locations, but is not widespread, and is often over looked due to the fact it sounds similar to catbird and can often be difficult to spot in deep brush.  This is one of several southern species which have moved into Eastern New York after the days of Judd.

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2 responses to “Birds of Albany County Part II

  1. I find the BG Gnatcatchers very easy to miss myself, unless I am really tuned into their whiny calls. Plus they’re so tiny and hard to spot even when I do hear them. It’s interesting that they have been moving north – another sign of warming, I guess.

  2. What an interesting project! I refer to the 1914 Eaton Birds of New York now and then and find the differences then and now very interesting. Keep up the good work; I’ll be interested in following the series.

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