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, March 28, 2016

Climate change affecting bird migration

It seems like the birds are arriving early this year. Is the mild winter making them move ahead of schedule? 

Birds that winter in the south don’t exactly know what the weather is like in mid-Michigan. They leave generally the same time each year based on internal circadian rhythms and subtle changes in the sunlight. However once they begin their journey, the weather in the United States can play a big role in how quick they reach their nesting grounds.

When we have unexpected cold fronts in the spring, birds can stop temporarily or even reverse direction to wait for better traveling conditions. And good weather may speed up their migration spending less time at their normal pit stops to reach their destination.

Lately there has been a lot of excitement in the air with this crazy weather. I have seen waves of Red-winged Blackbirds stopping briefly at my feeders only to leave the next day on their way further north to their nesting grounds. The chickadees have been conducting battles for territory through song and checking out nesting sites. Bluebirds and other birds have started to carry off mouthful of nesting materials. While robins and cardinals, up before the sun, sing lovely ballads for their mates.

Things seem to be moving much faster than normal and if you want to check the maps or report the sighting of a bird go to www.hummingbirds.net to check the status of hummingbirds and http://www.learner.org/jnorth/maps/Maps.html for a lot of other spring sightings. I would make sure all my seed feeders are cleaned and filled and all my nectar/fruit feeders are cleaned and hung by mid-April.

Related Articles:
Preparing Your Yard For Wild Birds in the Spring http://preparing-your-yard.html

What is the nectar (sugar water) recipe? http://bit.ly/GE3Ojj
Can hummingbirds drink from the same feeder as an oriole? http://bit.ly/GFRUiI
What's the Best Way to Attract Orioles http://bit.ly/GE4vZO
The Best Hummingbird Feeders http://bit.ly/GE4N2M

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