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.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Yellow warbler migration

I had a visitor that was all yellow like a goldfinch but was the shape of the wren. Do you know what it was?
Yellow Warblers have begun migrating! At the first glance of yellow you might think American Goldfinches but female and immature Yellow Warblers are also notable for their overall plain yellowness. And male Yellow Warblers are a bright, egg-yolk yellow with reddish streaks on the neck and belly.

They are among the first of the warblers to move en masse up the North American continent in spring. They’re also among the first to fly back south in July. They winter mainly in mangrove forests of Central and South America.

They migrate at night so you may wake up one morning to see a new bird gleaning bugs frenetically in bushes or checking out your suet feeders. The activity of other birds may be a signal that your yard is a safe stop-over site. They will stay only long enough to rest, refuel, and wait for favorable winds to fly further south.

Now until the end of November, the numbers and variety of birds appearing in your yard can actually change every morning as many small songbirds migrate. Species such as warblers, vireos, orioles, grosbeaks, tanagers, buntings, blackbirds, and sparrows all migrate overnight.

As you might imagine, migration takes a toll on the birds. It is not uncommon for birds to lose one-fourth to one-half of their body weight as they migrate thousands of miles. Birds need to accumulate fat to help maintain their energy reserves before the journey. Sometimes, however, reserves are not enough and that's when your yard with plenty of food, water and shelter can be a lifesaver.

Watch the video: http://macaulaylibrary.org/video/484113

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