This post was originally posted in March, when a migration of our website and blog account was happening, causing it to not go to our website… sorry for the delay!


The long winter is finally showing signs of giving the Finger Lakes Region a break.  Of course, as soon as that happens, our thoughts begin to drift to spring.  And believe it or not, spring is just around the corner!

For some, spring isn’t spring until they hear the calls of the migratory birds that return to the area.  Their colors and their songs are a sure sign that warm weather is quickly approaching.  Depending on where you live, there are certain species that, when seen, give you comfort in knowing that the last grips of winter are almost gone.  Why not come witness the return of our spring sentinels here in Trumansburg during a bed and breakfast getaway?

Grasshopper Sparrow

In the end of April, you’ll start seeing the Sparrows return to the Trumansburg area: in particular the Grasshopper Sparrow and Henslow’s Sparrow.  These little brown birds with black specs may be a challenge to see in trees which have yet to get their leaves, so keep a sharp eye!

If you happen to be down in Ithaca, you’ll also see Waterthrush near the lake, with their brown plumage over light underside with dark stripes.  Both the Louisiana Waterthrush and the Northern Waterthrush are known for their constant tail-bobbing, and they both have sharp, ringing calls.

During the first half of may, the Warblers begin to return.  The Cerulean Warbler with its bright blue (males) to greenish blue (females) plumage over a light-colored underside, the Tennessee Warbler with a yellow-green color over gray, and the Yellow-rumped Warbler with striking yellow streaks among a striking black/white/gray plumage.  Warblers are known for their cheerful songs that welcome the warmth and make you think of summer days ahead.

Cerulean Warbler

May down in Ithaca sees the return of two additional warblers and one other notable songbird.  The Bay-breasted Warbler has strikingly colored males with a dark face, chestnut head and throat, cream on the neck, and dark wings with two noticeable white stripes on the breeders, with the non-breeders boasting a light olive green coloring.  The American Redstart warbler is coal-black on top with bright yellow-orange stripe on the wings and tail, and striking orange just under the wings.  The Yellow-breasted Chat has dark plumage on top with a bright yellow chest and throat, and is sometimes difficult to spot as it likes to hide deep in brush.

And of course there are the Canada Geese making their trip back north from the North Carolina/Virginia area where they spend their winter.  Ideally, they will fly deep into Canada, but you’ll often see them in the area from early spring until late autumn with their belligerent stares and raspy honks.

No matter what the species, these are the birds that let us know the season is finally changing here in Upstate New York.  So bring your binoculars with you to The Inn at Gothic Eves, and enjoy looking for them during a walk around town, or perhaps at nearby Taughannock Falls State Park.


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