Like numerous bird types, my spouse and I moved south for the winter season.
Ours was a personal option, while the yearly motions of migratory birds are hard-wired into their brains, so they move intuitively, come hell or high water.
We human beings have the high-end of having the ability to customize our environment to allow us to endure harsh weather condition or possible food scarcities. Birds, on the other hand, can’t manage their environment. If seasonal modifications threaten their survival, they need to relocate to more accommodating environments.
Food supply is the secret: birds, with their exceptionally effective plume insulation, can endure Minnesota’s coldest winter season temperature levels. But they can’t endure if the sort of food they require aren’t available.
So, chickadees, nuthatches, many woodpeckers, and other types that eat seeds, berries or “hibernating” bugs have the ability to endure our winter seasons and are normally non-migratory.
Species that depend upon mobile bugs, nevertheless, are left high and dry when winter triggers their favored foods to vanish. These types have little option however to move.
Most of them, the types we describe as neotropical migrants (e.g., many warblers, vireos and flycatchers) spend the winter season in Central and South America.
Some are more cold-tolerant and might just move as far as the southern U.S. Examples of these are the majority of our ducks and geese and a couple of songbirds like yellow-rumped warblers, white-throated sparrows and dark-eyed juncos.
The return migration in Minnesota can begin as early as March and April for types that winter season in the southern U.S.
Many of the waterfowl return that early if they can discover spots of open water. An example this year was a fantastic group of a minimum of 150 typical goldeneye ducks that stuck around for a while in April on the shallow lake throughout 34 from the Long Lake public gain access to.
The dark-eyed juncos are amongst the couple of types of songbirds that return in April, and the majority of them hand down to the north by the end of the month.
May, nevertheless, is prime-time television for the return of the fantastic bulk of our migratory birds, especially the neotropical migrants.
This is constantly an extremely interesting time for us birders. Experiencing spring migration is typically the stimulus that triggers birding to end up being a long-lasting enthusiasm for individuals who delight in nature and the outdoors.
In May, you can anticipate to discover brand-new types getting here almost every day, especially throughout the morning after a night with favorable migration conditions.
On May 2, I was delighted to see my very first Eastern phoebes of the year, constantly the very first types in the flycatcher family to return. Their routine of bobbing their tail up and down separates it from other comparable looking types.
Any day now the ovenbirds and black and white warblers need to be back – and they are simply the pointer of the iceberg.
Birders, it’s time to dust off your field glasses and prepare to enjoy this fantastic yearly spring occasion!
Marshall Howe is a retired biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He concentrated on bird population research studies. Howe has actually been a Park Rapids resident given that 2010.