Some of us have noticed our birdfeeders becoming quieter; and for some the opposite is true, and it is being ambushed by new flocks of birds.
Fall migration is well underway and we have already said “so long” to many of our colorful summer songbirds for the winter. Migrant southbound flocks will descend on a feeder trying to fatten up as much as possible for the journey. Winter birds have started moving in., foregoing flying for hundreds of miles if they can tolerate our winters and there is enough food, shelter, and water. Afterall, migration is filled with dangers and obstacles, with no guarantee of an unlimited buffet or safety when they arrive.
Bird migrations have long fascinated people, and the there is so much about migratory birds that remain a mystery. In September, Audubon launched the Bird Migration Explorer, which gives us a bird’s eye view to migration patterns across North America. Now you can easily see when you should expect the Dark-eyed Junco to show up at your feeder and when to take down the hummingbird feeder for the season. You can also see the challenges birds face as they navigate continents – where and when is drought, pollution, or surface water management a challenge for a Black Tern, for example. Birds have so much to teach us about our world, and this explorer can help uncover a few more.