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.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Annual avian cycles

The major activities of birds, like reproduction, raising young, molting, and surviving the winter, are guided by internal clocks that coincide with the appropriate season.

There is still a lot of snow on the ground but you may have noticed that as the days get longer, the birds are beginning to sing more. This morning I heard an excited Tufted Titmouse singing its LOUD fast-repeated song, “Peter—Peter—Peter,” right above my bird feeding station. What triggers this behavior?

A key part of a bird’s brain is affected by seasonal change. When birds are exposed to longer days, the cells start to release a thyroid-stimulating hormone, previously associated only with growth and metabolism. It indirectly stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete further hormones called gonadotrophins, causing male birds' testicles to grow and, results in increased singing during breeding season.

So now is the time to be thinking about providing nesting material and nesting boxes to attract wild birds in your yard because there is nothing like birds’ songs to herald the approach of spring.

Related Articles:
- How Birds Sing http://bit.ly/xxf2vn
- How Birds Mate http://bit.ly/wYSqwb
- How Birds Court http://bit.ly/A2qGqS
- Dryer Lint is a NO NO for Nesting Material http://goo.gl/31x9i
- 5 Tips to Attract Birds to Nest in your Bird Houses http://bit.ly/xETceZ
- When do birds begin nesting? http://bit.ly/wbJ3kE

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you! This is fascinating and so well done!