How can it possibly be late September already? The days are getting increasingly shorter and there is that distinctive nip in the air when you venture outdoors first thing in the morning. I am definitely a warm-weather sort of person, but I do enjoy experiencing all 4 seasons here in Southern Indiana. Well...as long as winter only lasts about 3-4 weeks...or less. But as much as I dislike the colder weather, I do enjoy what these seasonal changes bring to the bird world. A changing of the guard, so to speak. Some of our favorites stick with us year round; and while I hate to see a few of the others go, it's exciting to see their replacement teams fly in to take their place in the yard. I'd like to dive into Fall Migration with you for a bit and discuss some of the changes we are already beginning to see.
First of all, not all migrations are created equal. The ole "birds fly north in the summer and back south in the winter" is a fairly true statement, but it's a lot more complicated than that. Fall Migration is a BIGGER deal than Spring Migration in terms of size and length of time. Think about what birds are doing during Spring Migration. They are flying north to find suitable habitats in which to raise a family. So they are motivated! Gotta get there quick and find the best territory! Need to beat my cousins to the punch! GO, GO, GO! They come here in the spring because of the natural resources we have to offer during that time of year - lots of plants, insects and nesting locations. Fall Migration, on the other hand, is a bit more drug out and not quite as hurried; not to mention it involves a lot more birds! Why is that? All the new kids are now in the mix! Fall Migration in the Northern Hemisphere begins in mid-September and stretches all the way through the end of November.