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.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

All signs point to a good bird watching winter!

Pine Siskin
There is some good news for backyard bird watchers, and not so good news for the birds. Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a colder than normal winter with a lot of snow beginning mid-December until early February. And the annual Finch Forecast reports the seed crops in the boreal forest are thin to average.

Common Redpoll
Snow means a lot of natural foods will be covered and that our regular winter feeder birds will be visiting more often. Weak seed crops mean more birds will be traveling south to Michigan to look for food. You should expect to see more visiting redpolls and siskins at the finch and sunflower feeders. And I’m looking forward to the little, laughing Red-breasted Nuthatches beginning in October at the suet and nut feeders.

But while I’m excited about all the bird activity we’ll have this winter, this is just the first week in Fall and we are experiencing a variety of birds passing through right now! Each migratory species has its own characteristic route between its nesting and winter ranges. Weather conditions often affect the migratory dates, direction as well as altitude as birds may fly higher or lower to avoid or take advantage of prevailing winds.
BirdCast is a new website that has real-time predictions of when birds migrate, where they migrate, and how far they will be flying. According to this week’s forecast, species on the move right now include the Northern Flicker, Eastern and Say’s Phoebes, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, Marsh and Winter Wrens, Swainson’s and Gray-cheeked Thrushes, Yellow-rumped and Palm Warbler, Savannah, Golden-crowned, White-crowned, White-throated, Swamp, Lincoln’s, and FoxSparrows, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

So keep your feeders and baths full and clean and your eyes and ears open for new visitors.

Related Articles:
- 10 Winter Finches in Michigan: http://bit.ly/oL3iCF
- Birds of Michigan Field Guide http://bit.ly/pXv5ZN
- What’s the best suet for Michigan wild birds? http://bit.ly/nImz5g
- How to have more colorful birds at your feeder http://bit.ly/qizlNh
- How to Prepare Your Yard for Winter Birdwatching http://bit.ly/q93Men
- What is the best bird feeder? http://bit.ly/qVr7i8