Mark Faherty

Mark Faherty writes the Weekly Bird Report.

Mark has been the Science Coordinator at Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary since August 2007 and has led birding trips for Mass Audubon since 2002. While his current projects involve everything from oysters and horseshoe crabs to bats and butterflies, he has studied primarily bird ecology for the last 20 years, working on research projects in Kenya, Florida, Texas, California, Arizona, Mexico, and the Pacific Northwest. He was a counter for the famous River of Raptors hawk watch in Veracruz, Mexico, and has birded Africa, Panama, Belize, and both Eastern and Western Europe. Mark is an emcee and trip leader for multiple birding festivals and leads workshops on birding by ear, eBird, birding apps, and general bird identification. He is past president of the Cape Cod Bird Club and current member of the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee.

Jeremiah Trimble

For the second time this week, a Mississippi Kite was seen in North Truro on Tuesday. It’s well known that Pilgrim Heights in the Cape Cod National Seashore is the best place in the state to see this rare and hopelessly graceful southern hawk. We know this thanks to the work of a rare breed of birder.

Shanaka Aravinda /

I was recently checking on the nesting piping plovers at a beach in Eastham, something I have done a thousand times before without event. But this time would be different, as I would seemingly learn the answer to an important natural history question that has plagued me for years.

Andy Sewell / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In birding terms, May is fleeting beauty. May quickly ages into June, and the bejeweled migrant warblers that adorned our trees for a few weeks move on to more northerly forests to breed.

Jess Huddy /

Did you catch it? Bird-a-thon fever was in the air this past weekend! Mass Audubon’s flagship annual fundraiser, Bird-a-thon pits sanctuary against sanctuary in two important categories: fundraising and birding. 

Peter Flood

In this week's Bird Report, Mark Faherty tells us about a newly-arrived stranger to the shores of Provincetown.

Mark Faherty

Identifying and tracking birds is important during the Spring Migration.   Mark Faherty has more in this week's Bird Report.

Mass Audubon

It's a busy time in the birding world.  The spring migration is underway.  Mark Faherty tells us more in this week's Bird Report.

It’s getting to be late April, which means backyards will soon be humming with an especially kinetic kind of ornithological activity.

batwrangler / fickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Recently, one of our more flamboyant seasonal residents has been performing at a variety of obscure local venues, venues that you might describe as off-off-off Broadway. Performances generally take the form of a one man show, and they only work nights, so don’t even think about catching a matinee.

Mark Faherty

Every March, usually sometime around St. Patrick’s Day, the first Piping Plover scouts arrive back on Cape Cod beaches. Whether these first arrivals are local nesters or migrants on their way to beaches in further north, they always seem to cause a panic.

Mark Faherty

We should all be jealous of ospreys. They’re way better at fishing than we are. They spend their winters on sun-drenched lagoons in Venezuela and they visit Cuba annually without violating US law. 

Jamie McCaffrey / flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Yes, I know, spring is coming. We’ve already had our complement of early spring Red-winged Blackbirds and grackles. Woodcocks are displaying, the first Killdeer have returned, and the increasing day length is starting to simmer the hormones of our resident Song Sparrows and cardinals, who are singing increasingly lusty versions of their territorial tunes.

copyright Steve Arena / used by permission

Lunacy is afoot at Race Point! On Saturday, for the first time in the long ornithological history of the state, a Yellow-billed Loon was seen and photographed at Race Point in Provincetown. 

Mark Faherty

If you feed the birds, then you may be feeding more birds than you had bargained for. Because where there are lots of birds, there are birds that eat birds. You might not be aware of the carnage, but if you look closely, you may see the telltale signs of bird on bird violence in your backyard.

Anita Ritenour / flickr / CC BY 2.0

Sixty hardy souls steamed out of Hyannis Harbor last weekend aboard the Helen H, heading for the offshore waters east of Monomoy. But this boat wasn’t dragging for scallops or longlining for swordfish – it was chartered by the Brookline Bird Club, and their quarry was winter seabirds.