Yesterday at Schenley Park, 5/18

Female red-winged blackbird scans the sky while collecting nesting material, Schenley Park, 18 May 2024 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

19 May 2024

The pouring rain ended yesterday morning just in time for our walk in Schenley Park.

Outing at Schenley Park, 18 May 2024 (photo by Kate St. John)

From midnight until 8am 1.16 inches of rain fell. All the streams were rushing and Panther Hollow Lake was muddy and full. It looked as if the lake had risen 8-12 inches since I saw it the day before.

Among the cattails we found busy red-winged blackbirds including a female gathering nesting material who scanned the sky for predators (at top). The last time I saw red-wings building nests was in mid April. Was this a second nesting? Or had high water flooded nests that now were being rebuilt?

Female red-winged blackbird collecting nesting material, Schenley Park, 18 May 2024 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

Why was the female blackbird scanning the sky? She probably saw a red-tailed hawk shuttling food to three youngsters in their nest on the bridge.

3 youngsters in red-tailed hawk nest, Schenley Park, 18 May 2024 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

All told we saw 27 species of birds plus one doe, five bucks and an active beehive.

I’m so glad it stopped raining!

Our checklist is here and listed below.

Schenley Park, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, US
May 18, 2024 8:30 AM – 10:45 AM, 27 species

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 5
Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) 1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) 1 Perched on snag
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 4 3 youngsters in nest
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) 2
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) 3 Adult perched on nest rail, 2 young on falconcam
Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens) 2
Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) 1
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) 4
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 8
Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) 2
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis) 3
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) 4 House wrens usually nest at PH Lake in the streetlight hoods. Singing wren near the streetlight went into the hood.
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) 2
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 3
Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) 4
Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) 1 Heard
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 30
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 6
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 4
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 3
Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) 4
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 8 (PHLake very high after lot of rain. Perhaps flooded RWBL nests)
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) 1
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) 2
Tennessee Warbler (Leiothlypis peregrina) 2
Bay-breasted Warbler (Setophaga castanea) 1 Heard

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