Seen on the internet: Warbler fallout on Machias Seal Island in the Gulf of Maine

Earlier this week, what must be thousands of migrating warblers descended on Machias Seal Island, a tiny rock over ten miles from land southeast of the Maine coast. Weather conditions such as storms or fog can force migrating birds out of the air and some locations are famous for their migrant fallouts. But the birds are often spread out; this island is some of the only land around and all the birds ended up concentrated. Click though these photos by Ralph Eldridge; they get even more impressive.

I’ve tried to identify the species. Many are just bits of color, living winged jewels. So far, I’ve found:

  • Northern Parula
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Black-and-white Warbler
  • Blackpoll Warbler
  • Ovenbird
  • Magnolia Warbler
  • Black-throated Blue Warbler
  • Black-throated Green Warbler
  • Canada Warbler
  • Blackburnian Warbler
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Wilson’s Warbler?
  • thrush species
  • White-throated Sparrow?

Something I learned today: the island is claimed by both Canada and the US. It’s one of five currently disputed areas between the two countries.

Seen at 10,000 birds

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