Spring Arrival Dates

Compiled by Bill Purcell

Since active records have been kept in locally there have been two publications, from Rice Creek Field Station in 1978 and the more recent “City Cemeteries to Boreal Bogs” which listed Spring Arrival dates. Both are now out of print and unavailable to newer birders as are several lists passed around by members of Onondaga Audubon at one time or another. This is an attempt to give birders, especially those with only several years of experience, an idea of when to expect spring migrants. Each month was divided into four weeks, imperfect, but better than giving a single date, or simply the record early date.

Apr-1 is the first week of April, the 1st through the 7th
2 is the second week of April, the 8th through the 15th
3 is the third week of April, the 16th through the 23rd
4 is the fourth week of April, the 24th through the 31st

With very warm weather, some may arrive a week earlier than shown and after a prolonged cold spell, some species will be delayed a week. For many species, only a few might be seen during the week indicated with higher numbers arriving the following week. Generally, very early arrivals are lone birds. A few of the species may winter locally so the date given is for apparent migrants, usually first recorded at Derby Hill.
Sources include arrivals as compiled by Marge Rusk from the 50 years of the “Kingbird” and the 1978 Rice Creek Field Station publication “The Annotated Checklist of Birds of Oswego County and Northern Cayuga County” by Gerald Smith and James Ryan.

American Bittern Apr-3
Green Heron Apr-4
Turkey Vulture Mar-1
Osprey Apr-1
Broad-winged Hawk Apr-3
Virginia Rail Apr-3VirginiaRail
Sora Apr-4
Common Moorhen Apr-4
Black-bellied Plover May-2
Semipalmated Plover May-2
Killdeer Mar-1
Greater Yellowlegs Apr-1
Lesser Yellowlegs Apr-1
Solitary Sandpiper Apr-4
Spotted Sandpiper Apr-4
Upland Sandpiper Apr-3
Ruddy Turnstone May-3
Red Knot May-2
Sanderling May-3
Semipalmated Sandpiper May-3
Least Sandpiper Apr-4
White-rumped Sandpiper May-2
Pectoral Sandpiper Apr-2
Dunlin May-2
Short-billed Dowitcher May-2
Common Snipe Mar-3Yellow-rumped Warbler
American Woodcock Mar-2
Bonaparte’s Gull Apr-1
Caspian Tern Apr-2
Common Tern Apr-4
Forster’s Tern Apr-3
Black Tern May-1
Black-billed Cuckoo May-2
Yellow-billed Cuckoo May-3
Common Nighthawk May-3
Whip-poor-will May-1
Chimney Swift Apr-3
Ruby-thr. Hummingbird May-1
Belted Kingfisher Mar-3
Red-headed Woodpecker May-2
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Apr-1
Olive-sided Flycatcher May-3
Eastern Wood-Pewee May-2
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher May-2Bobolink
Alder Flycatcher May-2
Willow Flycatcher May-2
Eastern Phoebe Mar-4
Great Crested Flycatcher May-1
Eastern Kingbird Apr-4
Blue-headed Vireo Apr-3
Yellow-throated Vireo May-1
Warbling Vireo May-1
Philadelphia Vireo May-2
Red-eyed Vireo May-2
Purple Martin Apr-2
Tree Swallow Mar-3
N. Rough-winged Swallow Apr-2
Bank Swallow Apr-3
Barn Swallow Apr-2
Cliff Swallow Apr-3
House Wren Apr-3
Winter Wren Apr-1
Marsh Wren May-1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet Apr-3
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Apr-3
Veery May-1
Gray-cheeked Thrush May-2
Swainson’s Thrush May-2
Hermit Thrush Apr-2
Wood Thrush May-1
Gray Catbird May-1
Brown Thrasher Apr-3
Gray Catbird May-1
Brown Thrasher Apr-3
Blue-winged Warbler May-2
Golden-winged Warbler May-2
Tennessee Warbler May-2
Orange-crowned Warbler May-2
Nashville Warbler Apr-4
Northern Parula May-2
Yellow Warbler May-1
Chestnut-sided Warbler May-1
Magnolia Warbler May-2
Cape May Warbler May-2
Black-throated Blue Warbler May-1
Yellow-rumped Warbler Apr-3
Black-throated Green Warbler May-1
Blackburnian Warbler May-1
Pine Warbler Apr-3
Prairie Warbler May-2
Palm Warbler Apr-3
Bay-breasted Warbler May-2
Blackpoll Warbler May-2
Cerulean Warbler May-2
Black-and-white Warbler Apr-4
American Redstart May-1
Ovenbird May-1
Northern Waterthrush Apr-4
Louisiana Waterthrush Apr-3
Mourning Warbler May-2
Common Yellowthroat May-1
Hooded Warbler May-2
Wilson’s Warbler May-2
Canada Warbler May-2
Scarlet Tanager May-1
Eastern Towhee Apr-2
Chipping Sparrow Apr-2
Field Sparrow Apr-1
Vesper Sparrow Apr-1
Savannah Sparrow Apr-1
Grasshopper Sparrow May-1
Fox Sparrow Mar-4
Lincoln’s Sparrow May-2
Swamp Sparrow Apr-2
White-throated Sparrow Apr-2
White-crowned Sparrow Apr-4
Rose-breasted Grosbeak May-1
Indigo Bunting May-2
Bobolink May-1
Red-winged Blackbird Feb-4
Eastern Meadowlark Mar-2
Rusty Blackbird Mar-4
Common Grackle Mar-1
Brown-headed Cowbird Mar-3
Baltimore Oriole May-1