- Fantastic for spring migrants during April & May
- Over 30 acres of mature hardwood trees
- Easy walking due to paved road and manicured grounds
Rose Hill Cemetery is known to birders as a great spot to see spring migrants throughout April and the first week of May. The abundant canopy but lack of understory distinguishes it from other nearby migration hotspots.
The large Live Oak trees attract warblers that flit through in mixed groups, Empidonax and Myiarchus flycatchers, both cuckoo species, three tanager species, nightjars, and hawks. Because of the lack of dense ground vegetation, getting these birds in your binoculars is often easier here than other places.
Paved roads provide birders with a great network of walking paths to explore the property.
Parking spots are limited and only at the far corners of the property, but most birders just find a spot along any of the paved roads and park on the curb. Just leave room for other vehicles can squeeze around your parked car.
Find a central location anywhere on the property and park where your vehicle isn’t blocking others.
A good plan is to walk in a large circle and look for groups of birds. Warblers especially seem to move in groups, so once you find one or two, that’s your clue that you’re getting warmer, and to search the trees immediately around the first birds.
Spend some time with each group of birds and follow them as they move. Once you feel confident you’ve picked out every individual, move on in search of the next group.
Nightjars like Chuck-will’s-widow and Eastern Whip-poor-will may fly from the trees as you walk. If you see a brown bird the size of a small hawk swooping haphazardly just under the canopy, it’s likely a nightjar.
Flycatchers are common in late April and early May. Empidonax flycatchers are the most numerous, and also the most difficult to identify. Some will vocalize occasionally but most are silent during migration. If you wish to learn how to ID this challenging group of birds, here is an excellent guide to study.
On great days, usually around the 3rd weekend of April, the whole property can host over 100 individual warblers and over 100 orioles.
Other Important Info
Remember that this location is first and foremost a cemetery. Please respect visitors, give them space, and never point your binoculars in people’s immediate direction.