Birds Are On the Move
In This Issue
How Many Birds Are on Fall Migration?
Make the ID in Fall
Hawkwatching Made Easy
What's That Woodpecker Doing Now?
Removing Lawn For Backyard Habitat
Take Nature Sounds Indoors
Our Favorite Bird This Month
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IT'S NEW! Streaming Nature Sounds Album
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Issue: #107
October/November 2018

The last of the songbirds are making their way south, sparrows are abundant, shorebirds continue to gather and migrate and raptor watching is at its peak.  What better way to spend time outdoors than to see the seasons change through migration?  Bird identification now can be a challenge as there are lots of juveniles in the air with different colors and patterns from the adults, and many adult birds have shed their fancy plumage for a more subtle winter look. All these things and more are in this month's issue: 

We offer some ideas on hawk watching, how to make  fall plumage IDs; some thoughts on fall native plant gardening and grass removal, wonder a little about woodpeckers working hard this time of year, a stealthy forest hawk and we answer the question how many birds are migrating in fall

Visit us at  WildTones  for bird and wildlife ringtones, alerts and alarms for iPhones and Android, and our loopable streaming nature sounds for relaxation , sleep, mediation and lifestyle. 
Sharp-shinned Hawk migrating with Cormorants in Background
Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel
How Many Birds Are on Fall Migration?
Do you ever wonder how many birds are on the move during fall
Tree Swallows Migrating
Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel
migration?  We did and found  Cornell Lab of Ornithology answered this question in their first report on numbers of birds migrating over the US from data gleaned from radar reports . Radar ornithology is an emerging field and is becoming increasingly important for determining bird migration numbers, patterns and densities , etc. By looking at weather radar, scientists are able to determine flight altitude, speed, direction and numbers of birds in the air as computer algorithms parse bird data from weather data. 

According to Cornell's report,  ...Read More....
Make the ID in Fall 

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Photo Credit:  Deborah Rivel
In spring making bird ID's is so much simpler, as every bird is dressed in their very best plumage - bright, fresh and ready to find a mate. But in fall, few birds look like the iconic field guide image for the species - why sport the fancy stuff when it sometimes get you noticed by the critters you don't want finding you? Fall offers a real ID conundrum - and not just with warblers who have a reputation for being especially challenging! Making the ID in fall for many birds requires really paying attention to the details and behavior... and maybe having a little help. For tips on ID'ing birds like Common Loon, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Chipping Sparrow who are commonly seen on fall migration and difficult to ID, check out this  terrific article  from  National Audubon Society.
 Hawkwatching Made Easy 
Red-tailed Hawk
Photo Credit:  Deborah Rivel
Fall raptor migration is amazing! For the serious hawk watcher, it is the time to get really  spectacular flight photos and see raptors en route in often
high numbers. If you are new to hawk watching and want to plan a trip or a day outing, keep an eye on the weather. In fall, the day of and just after a cold front moving through, typically with winds from the north, is going to be a good day. In some areas that can mean thousands of hawks flying overhead.

Many popular hawk watch locations collect data during migration, and have people who count and identify the raptors which glide or race overhead. Its a wonderful way to spend a few hours with friends or to meet other birdwatchers, and having the hawks identified by experts can really help your ID game.  

If you want to know which birds are moving right now and where the hottest spots are to see them    ...Read More...
What's That Woodpecker Doing Now?

Red-headed Woodpecker Photo Credit: Stan Tekeila

We all know Woodpeckers carve out nesting holes in spring, but what's going on with all that tree chiseling in the fall? What do these woodpeckers know that we don't? Find out from our friends at BirdNote.
 Removing Lawn for a New Backyard Habitat

Fall is an ideal time to get started on a new native plant garden or meadow or to add to an existing site.  Plan the project size, remove the grass and get  native_plant_garden native plants into the ground now, and you will be rewarded by a spring garden  which is already established  and has a head start on the growing season. Since habitats take more than a single season to mature, your work now will pay off sooner than  if you waited until spring to do the work.

When planning, ask yourself how much grass should be removed, and how big a commitment are you wanting to make when creating a new habitat? Then it's how to handle the daunting issue of removal of established grassGet answers to all these questions     ...Read More...
Make Nature Sounds Part of Your Life Indoors

"Dawn Through Night: Bird Calls and Nature Sounds in the Forest" brings the calming and beautiful sounds of nature to your home or office, as a sleep aid, for meditation or as soothing background noise. Beat the stress and stream our loopable tracks on Spotify, 
  Spotify iTunes Apple Music  -- and more streaming services.  Recorded  in the Northwoods  by nature sound recordist, Stan Tekeila.  

Here are some of our favorite tracks we can't do without: 
Our Favorite Bird This Month:  COOPER'S HAWK

Cooper's Hawk
Photo Credit: Stan Tekiela
Cooper's Hawks are hawks of the forest, and extremely agile predators. They are members of the genus Accipiter, sharing that genus with two other hawks -- Northern Goshawk and Sharp-shinned Hawk. Nests of Cooper's Hawks will often be found in pine trees. Built of sticks mainly by the male, they are a bit over two feet across with a depression in the middle for up to six eggs and chicks, and often lined with bark. Now of low concern, this is a big change from 50+ years ago when their population, like that of many other raptors, was hit very hard by hunting and the use of DDT.

Homeowners with bird feeders may notice their feeders become a birdy buffet for the birds that like to eat feeder birds. Cooper's Hawks have learned to hang out near bird feeders and pick off the birds that show up to dine. It is important to place bird feeders near cover, such as a bush or hedge, so that the birds at your feeder have a place to escape and hide from this quick and agile predator.

Help Support Wildlife and Animal Charities
WildTones supports a variety of wildlife and animal related charities. We recommend the following organizations and know them all personally.  We encourage you to consider giving a donation of any size and join us in helping the work they do.

The Alex Foundation
(Avian Cognition & Intelligence Research)
alex foundation
Audubon New York
(Bird Conservation in NY State)
(Global Bird Conservation)
International Crane Foundation
International Primate Protection League
(Gibbon and Primate Protection Worldwide)
Bill Jordan Wildlife Defense Fund (Protection of Wildlife Worldwide)
Oceanites (Antarctic Penguin Research)   Oceanites
The Roar Foundation
(Big Cats Rescue)

We thank
Stan Tekiela for his terrific bird and animal calls, our ringtones, and albums and his Acorn Woodpecker and Cooper's Hawk image!
Deborah Rivel for the Migrating Sharp-shinned Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Tree Swallows Migrating and Yellow-Rumped Warbler images.
(c)  Wildsight Productions, Inc., 2018