Migrants, Avian and Lepidopteran

The first White-throated Sparrow of the season showed up at the feeders at Flying Birds in Catch the Wind on Thursday, 14 October.

Although I’ve been predicting an eagle for the past few weeks (wishful thinking), I really expected one yesterday (10/15) as the winds and timing were conducive to the passage of the big birds. It didn’t happen, or at least I didn’t see one.

I did happen to see an American Kestrel moving through, flapping and gliding directly over the Ornithopter on the crisp cool morning of 15 October (Friday). Kestrels are the smallest North American falcon and one of three that are likely to be seen in our area. The Merlin and Peregrine are the other two. I would expect that the latter two would be less likely to be seen here at the Museum, however, Nathan Swick (Reservations and Memberships) saw a Merlin earlier in the year perched in a tree on the Dinosaur Trail. By the way, the female kestrel that I saw yesterday was the first that I’ve recorded here at the Museum.

There are still lots of kinglets and Yellow-rumped Warblers about. They’ll be here for the duration and should be fairly easy for any birder to find.

We should be seeing more sparrows and other granivores (seed eaters) in the next few days and weeks.

Another migrant, a lepidopteran migrant, that was moving through our air space yesterday (10/15) was the Monarch Butterfly.

This Monarch is headed for Mexico.

I counted 16 of the large orange and black butterflies overhead, all with a SW heading.

A few of the Monarchs stopped to nectar before continuing their journey to Mexico.

A Monarch pauses to nectar on asters before resuming its long flight to its winter quarters south of the border.

Keep your eyes to the skies!

2 responses to Migrants, Avian and Lepidopteran

  1. Nathan says:

    Kestrel! That’s cool!

    That would be a new bird for Durham County for me. They can be hard to find these days, there’s not too many pastures left in the triangle anymore.

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