Each spring, thousands of birds make their annual trek north from their winter grounds in South or Central American or the Caribbean to their “summer homes” in the North via one of four flyways through the United States. In the eastern U.S., the birds follow a route referred to as the Atlantic Flyway. Many of the birds have already begun to arrive. You’ve probably already started to hear more bird songs in the mornings, and there are more to come!
As a bird lover and photographer, the period when the tiny Warblers pass through is my favorite time. These brightly colored birds are active in Connecticut for a few short weeks, typically mid-May, eating and resting briefly on their trip north to the northern U.S. and southern Canada.
Keep listening for new songs, ones you don’t usually hear; it’s a sign that there’s a special traveler in your midst! This is one of the things I learned early-on when I started photographing birds. Often, we hear a bird well before we actually see it! And Warblers can be hard to see since they’re quite small. Another trick to spotting birds is to know the behavior of the bird you’re looking for. Warblers are energetic and flit from branch to branch looking for their favorite foods. They don’t sit still long – which can make photographing them a bit of a challenge, but one many photographers relish.
When looking for warblers, know that they can be located in a variety of settings, from wooded areas to marsh or in grassy fields. Each variety has a favorite place. A helpful source to finding birding hotspots is eBird.org, where you can choose your state and region to see the best areas for your bird walk. So especially during May, grab some binoculars or your camera, and take a walk to see who’s flying through!
The Connecticut Audubon Society is celebrating the 2019 season with a weekend of events called “Migration Madness,” May 17-19. Suffield’s nearest Audubon Center is located about 20 minutes away in Glastonbury, with beginner birding walks on both Saturday and Sunday during Migration Madness.
To learn more or to register go to; https://www.ctaudubon.org and click on Migration Madness.