On Saturday, June 15th, the Putnam Highlands Audubon Society (PHAS) led a walk at Glynwood Farm with the purpose of conducting a breeding bird survey. Surrounded by 14,000 acres of predominant woodland in Clarence Fahnestock State Park, this working farm provides unique habitat for many birds that require grasslands and open space.

Ryan J Bass and Kyle Bardwell of PHAS led the walk and were joined by 10 participants. A total of (39) species were observed, highlights include:

-- A wonderful overview by Malachy Cleary of the Purple Martin colony. Malachy has done a tremendous job in establishing and maintaining this breeding colony of a bird that is of notable concern in New York State. We were treated with a glimpse of an active Purple Martin nest and learned of the species's habitat, breeding, life history, behavior, and conservation status. This year's total includes 55 nesting pairs and 302 eggs. Malachy expects them to hatch around the Summer Solstice.

-- Cliff Swallows and Barn Swallows were actively collecting mud to construct their unique nest structures attached to the red barn.

-- A pair of Brown Thrashers were observed carrying food and visiting a probable nesting site.

-- We had (3) species of Vireo including Warbling, Yellow-throated, and Red-eyed.

-- We observed Baltimore Oriole and Red-winged Blackbird sitting on their respective nests.

-- An Eastern Kingbird provided a show escorting away other birds in a territorial defense display near Jordan Pond

-- A Field Sparrow was singing, a song described by some as a bouncing ping pong ball, quickly accelerating as it runs out of momentum.

The day's tally, including breeding codes, was recorded in eBird, a citizen science project by Cornell's Lab of Ornithology. To view the checklist, please click this link:

Photos By: Anthony Macchiarola