Fall is almost here and migration is well underway. It’s time to make sure our feeders are kept full to help our feathered friends make their journey south. We have had many new customers over the last few months and we want to keep you informed on feeding the birds over the fall and winter months.
Spring and fall are the best times to see the greatest variety of birds as they migrate through our towns and cities. Many types of warblers have been seen over the last few weeks including the Blackburnian, Black-throated Blue, Yellow-rumped, Black and White, and Northern Parula to mention a few. In the field behind my house I can hear the Common Yellowthroat… the one I always hear and rarely see. A good bird identification book or pocket guide will be a great help in identifying the many species as their plumage changes from spring to fall.
You will also be able to observe flocks of birds such as the Cedar Waxwings. Listen for their high-pitched ‘tseee’ call as they’re flying overhead. This morning I saw at least 20 blue jays flying together communicating their ‘jay jay’ cry as they went. Over the next few weeks you will also see the return of the White-Crowned and White-Throated Sparrows as they pass through. Scatter some seed on the ground to invite them to feed.
The orioles have gone from my yard. The last ones I saw were on September 10. Hummingbirds are still appearing at the feeder. Keeping your hummingbird feeder filled until Thanksgiving will help these little jewels make their way over the great lakes.
You can offer different types of seed to attract a variety of birds to your yard. Black-oil Sunflower or Sunflower Hearts are a good choice for all birds if you only have one feeder. If you have more than one, consider adding Nyjer or Finch and Friends to a feeder designed specifically for that seed. Peanuts out of the shell will attract woodpeckers, blue jays, nuthatches and chickadees, and the cardinals sure love the safflower seed.
Keeping your bird baths cleaned and full may give you the opportunity to see birds that prefer to dine on insects and berries rather than seed.
I hope these tips will help you enjoy the fall migration. I will leave you with a favorite fall poem of our family, I hope you enjoy it.
Indian Summer – William Wilfred Campbell
Along the of line of smoky hills
The crimson forest stands,
And all the day the blue-jay calls
Throughout the autumn lands.
Now by the brook the maple leans
With all his glory spread,
And all the sumachs on the hills
Have turned their green to red.
Now by great marshes wrapt in mist,
Or past some river’s mouth,
Throughout the long, still autumn day
Wild birds are flying south.