Migration is starting!

I was hoping that we would still have some migrants hanging around that had been held up by the recent storms throughout the state, but I think a lot had moved on already.  We didn’t get the brunt of the storm, so perhaps the coastal regions were dripping with the excitement of migrating birds.

I say excitement as a birder and teacher of all things birds.  I’m sure the birds find storms less than exciting.

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I was teaching the class this week about migration and mentioned using Nexrad radar technology to visualize bird migration, and this is a great image explaining it.  For those birders reading, check out Bird Cast, which posts a weekly migration forecast and a weekly summary using eBird data.  It’s pretty amazing what we can do with technology now!

We are sadly lacking in ducks for class right now, so I picked Bartram Forest WMA as a good lab location because there are ponds, but they are surrounded by forest also, so even if the ponds didn’t have a lot of ducks, I was hoping to see some forest songbirds.

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Sadly, no ducks, but there were lots of forest birds out!

We’ve been averaging around 20 species each time we go out, and today we got 19.  Several were new birds for the class and included some migrants also.  The highlights were the first Ruby-throated Hummingbird (only seen buzzing by), a Swainson’s Thrush, lots of Blue-Grey Gnatcatchers, and the class’s first Eastern Towhee!  I also saw a White-eyed Vireo, but sadly wasn’t able to locate it long enough to point it out to the students.

Full checklist here.

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So still very few ducks for the class.  Next week we might need to go on a serious duck hunt!  (See what I did there?) 

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