Birdwatching Today: Migratory Birds Face Many Perils | News


Spring and fall migrations are the most exciting times of the year to discover the diversity of birds. However, this is the most dangerous time of year for birds, due to the threat of collisions with windows. Here is a list of some of the more common species that are found dead most often due to nighttime collisions with windows, which is when most songbirds cross the Gulf of Mexico.

The Black-and-white Warbler spends its summers in Canadian and American forests. Another danger the species lives with is the threat of forest fragmentation.

Common Common Yellowthroat males wear a mask like the Lone Ranger and prefer to nest in marshy, grassy areas close to the ground. An American and Canadian breeder, it can be found everywhere except the drier parts of the country in the spring and summer.

The Ovenbird is also affected by cat predation and forest fragmentation. It owes its name to the shape of its nest, which is covered like a brick oven. Since it is no longer restricted to the east, this loud and tall singer has a spotted underbelly like many of its conspecifics.

The Brown Thrasher is known to hide in dense brush where it forages on the ground, throwing leaves and debris to expose invertebrates for its consumption. Its distinctions lie in the bright rufous upperparts, the long rufous tail, and the streaky underparts.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds, which pack a lot of punch into tiny bodies, are an American and Canadian breeder. It prefers slender, long-necked flowers, which also attract tiny encrustations, but will also get quick energy from hummingbird feeders. Common in wooded areas and edges of woods, it often nests near water.

Feeding primarily on the ground, the Hermit Thrush is common in the scrubby understory of forests, especially in pine and oak habitat, and in drier locations than many other thrushes. It is the only thrush observed in North America in winter.

In some areas, the White-throated Sparrow is infamous for being the most frequent victim of window collisions. It has two color forms, the white and tan striped varieties. In the spring, it heads north to Canada and the northeastern United States, where “O, Sweet Canada” fills the air of the boreal forest.

The Bay-breasted Warbler, which exploits periodic spruce budworm infestations, finds most of its breeding range in the boreal forest. As a resident of the dual continent, the bay-breasted also consumes spiders and tent caterpillars when in the north. When residing in the tropics, they consume insects when they are abundant, but turn to small fruits when in a drier region.

Window bangs can be avoided, whether it is a high-rise or single-story home. Decals like WindowAlert, soap marks, streamers, draw curtains or just leaving windows dirty during migration times help combat strikes, as well as the Lights Out initiative. A billion birds a year are killed during spring and fall migrations, and you can help just by telling others how to prevent it.

Deb Hirt is a wild bird rehabilitator and professional photographer living in Stillwater.


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