Thursday, October 04, 2012

Missing Migration

Fall is usually a good time to see good numbers of songbirds as they migrate south through Texas on their way to Latin America. Unfortunately, I haven't been lucky with migration birding this year.

I timed my recent trip to Denver so that I would be there at the peak of migration but I ended up seeing only one probable migrant, a Gray Catbird.

A trip to the Texas cost a few weeks ago turned up only a handful of migrants at Lafitte's Cove on Galveston.

Meanwhile the CyFair campus has been surprisingly empty of migrants. Admittedly my birding there has been limited tyo a few quick walks around the nature trail but still I haven't seen anything like as many migrating birds as I would have expected. In three short walks over the past two weeks, yesterday was the first time I saw any migrants at all - and that was just two Nashville Warblers and a Common Yellowthroat.

BTW, the Yellowthroat was lying dead at the entrance to our library and had clearly fallen there after crashing into the wall of windows above.

Nobody knows how many birds die in the USA each year from flying into windows, but estimates run as high as one billion. We use to have a problem at home with birds flying from our feeders into windows. We solved it by moving the feeders very close to the windows - the birds still fly into the glass but they are travelling at slower speeds and so don't seem to suffer any bad effects from their collisions with the windows.  


Sue said...

I had never seen this bird before, but the day before I read your post, I saw one, dead, in front of the sliding glass doors at the doctor's office. Will be on the lookout for live ones!

Jeff said...

They're beautiful little birds, Sue, but we see quite a few dead ones on the CyFair campus.