Wild Birds Unlimited Newsletter
~ For those passionate about birding and nature ~
September 2019                                                                                          Volume 9.19
  
Making the most of Fall Migration
 
                     
More than 300 bird species found in North America during the summer will make their way to Latin America or the Caribbean, some covering distances of nearly 7,000 miles. Parks, backyards and nature refuges across the country will host these winged visitors for the next few weeks as the birds make their way to their fall and winter destinations.
 
Migration is one of many fascinating parts of bird behavior. Besides the amount of daylight, it appears that age, sex, weather and the availability of food, water and shelter are the major factors in migratory behavior.
                                
While migration is still not completely understood, it appears that some birds orient themselves by the stars on clear nights while others seem to have a built-in magnetic compass. Some birds travel over large bodies of water, and birds commonly lose one fourth to one half of their body weight during such over-water migration.
 
In order to survive their grueling trip, birds accumulate fat prior to migration. This physiological change helps the birds maintain their energy reserves.
 
Not only can we enjoy migrating birds as they pass through our area, but we can also play a role in their survival by providing food, water, habitat and/or shelter to help them conserve and replenish their energy supply during their journey.
 
 
Foods that are high in fat, such as suet, Bark Butter and a seed blend with lots of sunflower seeds, help birds refuel their energy supply. If you do decide to assist birds with food and water from your backyard bird feeders, then you need to make sure you're doing everything you can to keep them healthy. Maintaining fresh food as well as cleaning feeders frequently can go a long way in keeping them safe and fed.
 
Below are some tips to make the most of Fall migration...
 
  • Plan your bird-friendly landscaping with migration in mind and opt for flowers that bloom in late summer and early fall to help attract migrating birds.
 
  • Leave berries, fruits and seed-bearing flowers intact, rather than dead-heading, late in fall to provide a refueling stop for migrants. These foods will also be welcome for winter visitors.
 
  • Avoid pruning trees and shrubs in autumn if possible to provide additional shelter for migrating birds. If the pruning is necessary, add the cuttings to a brush pile for easy shelter.
 
  • Attract birds using leaf litter that you leave on your lawn or underneath shrubs to provide a rich foraging area for ground-feeding birds.
 
  • Winterize your bird houses in late fall to convert them to roosting boxes for late season migrants and winter residents.
 
  • Go birding frequently, particularly in areas that cater to fall birds' needs for food and shelter, to note any new arrivals and to enjoy the last glimpse of departing summer species.
 
By learning what to look for during fall migration, it is easy for every birder to enjoy this rich, productive birding season.


Happy Birding!
Carmel
  
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Keeping Bird Food Fresh

Always store your bird seed in a cool and dry location outside of your home.
Store bird seed in rodent- and insect-proof containers.
Never mix old seed with new seed.
During periods of warm weather, store only the amount of seed that your birds can consume over a two-week period.
During the cooler winter weather, store only the amount of seed your birds can consume over a four-week period.
Keep your bird feeders filled with a one- or two-day supply of seed to ensure it is eaten quickly and stays fresh.
Discard moldy, rancid or foul-smelling seed, because it can be a health hazard to birds.



All About Bird Migration
 
All About Bird Migration


Upcoming Events


Lahontan Audobon Society - http://www.nevadaaudubon.org/ 
 
Friday, September 6
7:30am
  Field Trip - Little Washoe Lake and Washoe Lake, Washoe County
Tuesday, September 10
6:00pm
  LAS Board meeting
Thursday, September 19
5:30pm
  Birds & Books Reading/Discussion Group - The River by Peter Heller
Friday, September 20
7:30am
  Field Trip - Pyramid Lake, Washoe
Saturday, September 21
7:00am
  Field Trip - Silver Saddle Ranch, Carson
Tuesday, September 24
6:30pm
  Program Meeting - Don Molde, Flycatchers
Friday, September 27
7:30am
  Field Trip - Washoe Lake Wetlands, Washoe


Tahoe Institute of Natural Science
   Go to Tinsweb website for full list of outings 
 

Fri Sep 06 @ 4:30PM - 09:30PM
Guitar Strings vs. Chicken Wings

 

Thu Sep 12 @ 7:00AM - 09:00AM
Foriver Bird Walk: Van Norden Meadow

 

Fri Sep 13 @ 8:00AM - 10:30AM
Fall Migration at Spooner Lake


Nature Happenings


* Hummingbird activity is strong. Most adult males have headed south, but females and juveniles are the last to leave. Keep your hummingbird feeder out all month until you have not seen a bird for two weeks.
* In late September, begin watching for fall migrants like Dark-eyed Juncos and White-crowned Sparrows.
* In the past, Mourning Doves were fall migrants. But due to an ever warmer climate, increased winter cover in suburban backyards and availability of wider range of food, they are seen in communal flocks through out the winter.
* All members of the dove family favor ground feeders, seed blocks and flat trays of millet and cracked corn.
* Activity at feeders decreases.
* Fall warblers start passing through in numbers.
* Watch for fire-flight birds in coastal areas if fires are burning inland.
* Shorebird migration is underway; large concentrations of birds can arrive in the morning and be gone at night if weather is favorable.
* The first storms of winter usher in winter migrants which often seek shelter in the cover of backyards.
* Sparrows can be seen scratching for fallen seeds in fading gardens.
* Leave spent perennials standing to provide cover and much needed food for our winter visitors.

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