With the cloud cover and drizzle sticking around overnight and all the next day, many of the passerine birds that were here on Friday remained in the area. These small birds migrate at night and if conditions aren’t right (clear skies and favorable winds) they won’t continue their southbound journeys until more suitable conditions prevail. They may, however, move slowly south as they feed from tree to tree or from woodlot to woodlot.
So with that in mind, Ranger Kristin and I tallied the following birds that stuck around for another day or who had arrived anew from the surrounding neighborhoods to feed in our little suburban island of wildness:
White-eyed Vireo, Northern Parula, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Black & White Warbler, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Summer Tanager and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. I also thought I caught a glimpse of a cuckoo, but can’t be certain of its identity.
I’m sure that there were some birds that we missed, some that eluded our watchful eyes and ears (I should say Kristin’s ears since I can no longer hear many of the high pitched calls of the birds).
There was a rather large flock of Chimney Swifts seen that day as well. There’s a National Guard Armory not far from the Museum (Stadium Drive) with a tall chimney that hosts swifts during late summer and early fall.
By the way, if you’re into birds, the willows in the Wetlands and the Mimosa Trees between Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind are full of tiny insects, psyllids and aphids and their eggs and larvae, mites and other small inveterbrates. The birds that are migrating through now are insectivorous.