Weather and birdsPosted on May 8th, 2010 Add a comment >>
Birds returning north each spring are anxious to get on breeding territories so they spend every clear night, with south winds, migrating north.
If you look here you will see a US radar map from Friday night showing bird movements (the big blue blobs again!) all over the eastern US…those are migrating birds passing over a Doppler radar site But as the map progresses check out what happens as that big yellow-green blob moves in from the west and “eats up” all the little blue blobs in New York.
-just kidding, no birds were harmed in the making of this blog.
So, what we’re seeing is a storm move into the Adirondacks and totally cut off northward migration.
What happens to the birds? Well they stop flying and find a protected spot in the nearest woods or wetlands to wait out the bad weather.
As a result the birds congregate into feeding groups that can contain many species. When this happens it’s often called a “fallout”, and it’s a birders dream come true.
On a bird walk this morning, along the trails of the Paul Smiths Visitor Center, we encountered a “mini-fallout”-not so big-but fun to see the different warbler species in the trees. 9 species in fact.
Our best-bird-of-the-day was, without a doubt, a warbler species called a bay-breasted warbler and what a beauty it was!
The Adirondack’s weather for the next couple of days shows rain and north winds, which most birds don’t want because it’s hard for an object that weighs about .5 to 1 ounce (2 or 3 pennies) to fly against strong headwinds.
But the flipside is this becomes a birders delight. So get up early Sunday or Monday and go birding-the birds will wait for you!
Photo credit: Bay-breasted warbler-Wikipedia photo
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