The fall migration is underway. Many birds are heading south to warmer locations, and some are just arriving as they relocate from the north. Various factors and cues spur migratory movement such as the amount of daylight, the angle of the sun, cooling temperatures and the availability of food.
Several warbler species, flycatchers, swallows, ruby-throated hummingbirds and nighthawks are in the midst of their migration, and the majority of orioles and martins have already departed. Raptors are also on the move. Red-breasted nuthatches, crossbills and dark-eyed juncos should arrive very soon.
One of the most popular viewing sites for raptors is Hawk Ridge in Duluth where birders can see vast numbers of sharp-shinned hawks, broad-winged hawks, American kestrels, bald eagles, osprey, turkey vultures and other raptors from early September through mid-November. Peak migration typically occurs from mid-September to late October at Hawk Ridge.
Did You Know?
Migratory birds need to consume additional calories this time of year to endure their arduous journeys to wintering sites. Some birders report that their feeders are already busy with migratory and resident birds. Draw these birds into your yard and view them from the comfort of your home while helping them get the calories they need.
The flurry of activity at our feeders in the fall makes this a great time to introduce a child to birding.