Backyard Bird Migration Dates
Before Spring has sprung its time to prepare for the arrival of waves of bird species that may visit your backyard, or rural environment. The link below opens a chart that lists migration dates for the most common species that may visit our yards and acreages, and what they may be looking for. Keep in mind this is only a partial list, and is intended to be representative of similar species that may be in your local area. It may prove helpful when deciding what food, or plants to purchase and offer to the variety of species coming your way.
Hand Feed Wild Birds – Your backyard birds can be eating from your hand this winter. Several articles have been written on how to accomplish this.
Feed Birds in the Fall – Wild birds scout out their winter food sources in fall, and that means they are deciding which backyards they will grace with their presence in winter.
Feeding Birds in Winter – One of the chief pleasures of winter is to be inside a warm house and look out at the wild birds at the feeder. You get terrific entertainment all winter long.
Food, Water, and Shelter – Thats all birds need to survive. There’s more to it than that of course, but in order to bring birds to you, a diversity of all three will get you started.
Birding with your ears – Learn to see through the leaves and around buildings, to hidden birds like the magnolia warbler. A guide to bird songs on CD are a useful resource.
Watch the Bird, Not the Book – When you spot a bird, don’t immediately try to flip through the pages of a field guide to identify it. Every moment of viewing time is precious, so take notes while you can.
Wing Bars and Tail Shape – Look for details on the bird’s body, wings, and tail. Keep an eye out for wing bars, color patches, and markings on the bird’s body, and describe the tail shape in flight.
Face Markings – Start at the head first. Look for distinctive strips and patches of color including crown stripes, eye lines, nape color, eye arcs or rings.
Drawdown Lakes – Department of Natural Resources (DNR) division of waters may be able to let you know which lakes/marshes are scheduled for drawdown. Drawdown wetlands provide excellent shorebird watching opportunities.
Sound Recorder – A digital (or tape) sound recorder can be beneficial for recording songs heard in the field, and also notes you want to remember about what you see and hear.
Birding by Boat – Some of the best birding in summer is by boat. Birds sing and are active along the banks even when summer doldrums have birders hanging up their binoculars.
Take Notes – After viewing the bird, jot down your observations for later reference. From field marks to behavior; anything you noticed. It will help you later when consulting field guides.