Spring continues, and this month we celebrate warblers! Columbia County welcomes many species of warblers — small migratory birds that often nest between mid-May and late June and are especially prized for their beautiful songs. Schor Conservation Area, located at 58 Cemetery Road in the village of Red Rock is a great place to look and listen for these seasonal visitors.
Pause and reflect on the Indigenous stewards of this land before you begin your hunt for warblers. Public Conservation Areas are located on the ancestral homelands of the Mohican people. Despite tremendous hardship in being forced from here, today their community resides in Wisconsin and is known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community. This land is near the homelands of other Indigenous peoples and First Nations, including the Schaghticoke First Nations. Indigenous peoples continue efforts to reclaim and steward the land today.*
Before you leave the lot, we recommend texting 518-525-3252 with the phrase “schormap” to get a copy of the trail map. On this walk, we suggest starting at the parking lot and making your way (slowly and quietly, so as not to disturb the birds!) around Jon’s Pond and through the forest on the Green Trail. The paths are primarily packed earth, with some exposed roots, and the trail is mostly flat. The full loop measures approximately 1.2 miles. Trails may be muddy after a rain.
There are many warblers you may encounter on your walk. If you’re not sure what you’re hearing or seeing, the Merlin and eBird apps are great resources – both of these apps are free and will connect you to expert advice. And if you can’t identify what you’re seeing or hearing, don’t worry! Just enjoy sharing this land we love with these beautiful birds.
n Male Blackburnian Warblers are identified by their orange throats and the striking patterns on their heads. These warblers are small but mighty, travelling between North and South America twice per year.
n Black and White Warblers appear to be striped, with females being a bit paler than the males. These birds eat mostly insects, and can often be seen climbing down the trunks of trees head first, similar to nuthatches.
n Male and female Black-throated Blue Warblers look very different. Males of the species are a bright blue with a deep black throat and a white belly, while the females are a muted olive color. Both sexes have small white patches on their wings.
n Both male and female Black-throated Green Warblers have bright yellow heads and black-and-white wings. However, only the males have black throats. They are known for their tireless warbling and may sing hundreds of songs in an hour.
n As their name suggests, Pine Warblers are usually found in pine forests, where they love to eat seeds. Their love of seeds makes them one of the few warblers that may decide to visit a bird feeder!
Whatever birds you hear or see, I’d love to hear about your wanderings. Email email@example.com or share your photos on social media – CLC is on Instagram @clctrust, and each Public Conservation Area has its own Facebook page.
A note on directions: Schor Conservation Area may be listed as part of Red Rock, Canaan, or Chatham depending on your GPS system.
* Land acknowledgment language provided in part by the Stockbridge Munsee Cultural Affairs Department