May Is Prime Bird Watching Time In The Yard

This is THE most exciting time of the year if you’re a birdwatcher – at least in the northern half of North America.  Backyard BirdwatchingMany of the passerines (songbirds) are migrating through local areas in large numbers.  This offers the best time to see a lot of colorful birds like warblers, tanagers, buntings, grosbeaks, and orioles to name a few species.

Many of these birds are heading toward more northern habitats or higher elevation areas where they breed.  Others will settle down locally to raise their young.  Either way, migration is exhausting for birds, so they’ll be very active looking for food to replenish themselves.  Between this and trees not being completely leafed out yet, the birds will be easier to see.

So, it’s a great idea to keep your bird feeders and bird baths stocked up to help these tired travellers.  And have your binoculars ready to pick up and use at all times.  You can see many different kinds of birds in your yard that may not normally be seen.  The more trees and shrubs you have for shelter and foraging, the more birds you’re likely to spot.

Even if you can’t see these interesting birds all the time, sometimes you’ll be able to identify them by their songs.   Warblers for example often hide in dense cover or up in tree tops.  Plus, they’re very small birds to begin with and are harder to see.  But, as their name implies, they make a variety of warbling, high-pitched songs and calls that alert you to their presence.  Learning bird calls by either buying one of the CD collections or downloading an app for your phone is time well spent.

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Cornell Lab of Ornithology