Birding during this time of year is always interesting. Things are still in transition with the last of the fall migration. Some visitors from the north have arrived; you may see buffleheads on lakes …
Birding during this time of year is always interesting. Things are still in transition with the last of the fall migration. Some visitors from the north have arrived; you may see buffleheads on lakes and rivers. They are small black and white ducks that migrate down from Canada around Halloween. Other birds, from redpolls to golden eagles, appear starting in October and on through the winter.
A walk in field or forest may result in more sightings with no leaves on the trees to obscure those small pine warblers or nuthatches. On the other hand, birds are a little quieter at this time, as there is no courtship calling. There are exceptions; I heard a great horned owl calling near a stable just outside Milford, PA, in mid-November. They usually start their courtship in October.
If you have a feeder, now is the time to get it ready; food in the wild is less abundant and harder to access if there is snow on the ground. Bears, the nemesis of bird feeders, will be taking their winter break soon and will emerge next April. There will be an abundance of bird visitors at the feeders as well as some squirrels (there are some ways to squirrel-proof feeders).
If you want a fun event to go to, many bird clubs will be participating in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count. At press time, there is enough time to register with an organization that will be doing it nearby. If you want to participate in the 22nd Christmas Bird Count, follow the instructions and look at the map to find an area and organization near you; this is on the Audubon site located here: https://www.audubon.org/conservation/join-christmas-bird-count.
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