As the weather begins to cool, new birds begin migrating into or through our area September through November. The exact times of fall migration vary, but there are plenty of clues birders can watch for to learn when their best fall birds will be arriving.
Speaking of fall birds, you will be sure to enjoy some new arrivals heading this way like the Dark-eyed Junco, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Hermit Thrush and the White-Throated Sparrow.
Unfortunately, this also means that some of our favorite birds will be departing to the south like the Hummingbirds, Kingbirds, and the Gray Catbirds, to name a few.
Here are the 7 tips on what you can do to make the most of fall bird migration:
- Plan your bird-friendly landscaping with migration in mind and opt for flowers that bloom in late summer and early fall to help attract migrating birds.
- Leave berries, fruits and seed-bearing flowers intact, rather than dead-heading, late in fall to provide a refueling stop for migrants. These foods will also be welcome for winter visitors.
- Avoid pruning trees and shrubs in autumn if possible to provide additional shelter for migrating birds. If the pruning is necessary, add the cuttings to a brush pile for easy shelter.
- Attract birds using leaf litter that you leave on your lawn or underneath shrubs to provide a rich foraging area for ground-feeding birds.
- Winterize your bird houses in late fall to convert them to roosting boxes for late season migrants and winter residents.
- Go birding frequently, particularly in areas that cater to fall birds’ needs for food and shelter, to note any new arrivals and to enjoy the last glimpse of departing summer species.
- By learning what to look for during fall migration, it is easy for every birder to enjoy this rich, productive birding season.