About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Family Fun: The Journey North

Even though there is a foot of snow outside my window, I have been asked several times this week about when different birds will start making their way north again.

There are several neat websites that follow bird migration up to Michigan:
The Journey North website studies wildlife migration and seasonal change. It tracks the coming of spring through the migration patterns of the Baltimore Oriole, Ruby-throated hummingbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds, and other birds and mammals. You can look at the past seasons to predict upcoming visits or watch the Spring 2009 maps as people report their sightings of birds on the way north.

The Purple Martin Conservation Association also has migratory maps. Fifty reports have already been submitted for sitings of the purple martins in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas.


And the website I check most frequently in the spring is Hummingbirds.net. The maps of the Migration of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are updated daily and like the other websites it has lots of useful information.

As a quick reference:

Bluebirds are year round in mid-Michigan and can begin scouting out possible nesting sites as early as January.
Robins are year round in mid-Michigan but you’ll see them more frequently in your yard~mid-February
Red Winged Blackbirds ~ Beginning of March
Ruby-throated Hummingbird ~ April 15 (tax time)
Purple Martin ~ Mid April
Warblers ~mid-May