Late Summer Yard Birds
Sep
02
2013

            Summer’s advance is marked on the bird calendar by the start of fall migration – a long process which extends into the cold months of the year.  In August and September it revolves around songbirds and shorebirds heading south, getting ahead of chilly temps and difficulty in finding food.  As a result, I’ve been in the Champlain Valley recently searching for shorebirds, and I’ve been on trails in the Tri-Lakes Region, noting a variety of songbird species. 

            But one of my favorite places to find birds – particularly on fall migration – is in my own yard.  When I’m not in the field, I do a lot of my work from home, and it allows me to sit outside (what I’m doing right now as I write this) and see what birds are moving through the neighborhood.

            Many of these birds nested in the area and they have formed loose flocks since – moving around in the neighborhood in their search for food.  Other birds are moving in from the north augmenting these flocks and making it fun to see what has migrated in recently.  Currently where I sit, I hear the twitter of black-capped chickadees and dark-eyed juncos, as well as a calling red-eyed vireo. red-eyed vireo

            These common, local birds nested in the neighborhood and I often find other local species mixed in with them.  For instance, last week I found species such as black and white warbler, northern parula, and black-throated green warbler.  My yard also attracts other common species such as red-breasted nuthatch, hairy woodpecker, song sparrow, ruby-throated hummingbird, and white-throated sparrow. 

            But it is the less common species which are attracted to the activity in my yard which get me most excited.  For instance, several days ago I found a common yellowthroat in my yard – not an uncommon bird, but one that isn’t easily found in my neighborhood.  Thursday and Friday last week were productive as well with a good variety of birds, but the rainy day on Saturday proved to be the best.  

            That morning I kept stopping work at my computer in order to step outside and check out the movement of birds in my yard where chickadees and red-eyed vireos led species like blue-headed vireo and least flycatcher around.  These flocks also included 8 species of warblers:  yellow-rumped, black and white, black-throated green, northern parula, blackburnian, magnolia, Tennessee, and Cape May, the latter two being migrants from the north.  Migrants are always exciting finds, and I’ve found Cape May in my yard the past three days! blackpoll warbler - fall

            I took out my camera on Saturday and attempted a few photos between the rain drops, trying at the same time not to miss anything in the ebb and flow of the flocks – it would be easy to overlook individual birds.  And that is one of the fun things about these late summer groups of birds.  You never know what you will find and you have to be vigilant to discover what species are mixed in these leaf-shaking flocks. 

            These post-breeding and migratory flocks can also settle almost anywhere, making my yard – or anyone’s yard – a perfect place to look and listen for them.  And so I will continue to sit outside as I write and keep one eye on my work and the other on the trees in my yard.  Because you never know what might pay you a visit. 

Fifth Annual Hobofest: Music, Food and Fun on the Tracks
Bloomingdale Bog Birds

E-Newsletter Signup Form

 
1 Start 2 Complete

About The Author

Blog Topics...

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018
Registration Now Open for Kids’ Afterschool Art Classes at BluSeed Studios BluSeed Studios announces open registration for children’s after school art classes as of October 12. Classes...
Wednesday, October 17th, 2018
The upcoming date less then 1 day.
Our Wednesday Tasting Series will begin again on September 26th! Join us in Great Hall Bar every Wednesday for special beverage tastings alongside complimentary food pairings by Campfire Adirondack...

Recent Blog Posts...

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018
Submitted by guest writer, Elisabeth Marchbanks I must admit, fall is my favorite season in the Adirondacks. As the air becomes crisper and the leaves start to change their color, I can’t help but...
Thursday, October 4th, 2018
A great time of year for a hike Fall is made for hiking. It possesses the perfect mix of pleasantries — leaf color, pleasant temperatures, and no bugs — that appeals to time outside. So when...
Win a fantastic getaway! It's free! Enter now.
Fly to Saranac Lake via Cape Air The Adirondack Regional Airport, your "Gateway to the Adirondacks," provides quick and convenient access to and from Logan International in Boston, MA. Daily flights are provided...
Woods and Water Defined by nature, recreation, heritage, learning, creativity, and cuisine, we invite you to explore our historic routes and waterway connections.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter.
Interested In
Sign Me Up!