Monday, August 10, 2009


     In April, May and June I wrote six pieces on early morning bird walks . These months are exciting because migrating birds are returning. After just winter birds, we see water fowl, shore birds and song birds.

    However, in my backyard in August birding becomes active again. Why? Well, some of the local birds come back to the yard with the young of the year. Some years these birds will nest right in the yard using a nest box or manufacturing their own nest. So when they nest away from the yard, it seems like there are chickadees, nuthatches, blue jays and magpies in every bush when they return. At this time of year it is still easy to pick out the young of the year.

     Then fall migration is beginning. Many migrants go through our urban yards . Some are seen just once and others hang around a few days or even weeks. So in my back yard I see white crowned sparrows, song sparrows, clay colored sparrows, chipping sparrows juncos and the odd other sparrow. Some years we have an eruption of pine siskins and it looks like this might be the year as I am seeing pine siskins each day. Warbler species that visit are yellow, yellow rumped, and Tennessee. We sometimes find orioles having a good feed of ants . This is the only time of the year when I see hummingbirds .

     It seems like when there's dirty weather many more birds appear in the yard. The sparrows take advantage of ground feeders. My vegetable garden is a total jungle at this time so the sparrows run under all the foliage and pick up insects.

      So these activities make it active and interesting in my backyard as far as birding goes.