With migration on top of most birders minds this time of year, we are busy looking to the skies for various species heading through our area via a flyway heading to tropical locales or hoping for well-timed fallout for a quick viewing of a variety of species.

There are however a variety of species that are considered medium-distance migratory birds, and can often be referred to as year-round birds, obviously dependent on your exact location. The birds that get lumped into this category do in fact migrate in an irregular north to south pattern but remain here in North America.

Here are three of our favorite birds that can be classified as medium-migrants who don’t typically make the long trek to enjoy the beaches and jungles of the tropics we all soon will be longing for…

Eastern Bluebird

This bird is thought to march to its own drum, as their patterns can sometimes be quite erratic and tough to track. For the most part, though, this species resides in the northern United States and southern Canada for the summer or breeding months. The majority of the population of eastern bluebirds will remain in the continental United States year-round, joined by those from more northern areas during the winter.

Blue Jays

These large songbirds flirt with the line of a migrant and permanent resident. They make the cut because their noted migrations, particularly on the eastern coast of North America, is somewhat of an anomaly. It has been noted that some members of the species will migrate a short distance one year, and stay in the same location the following year. The majority of the population does, in fact, stay put in their typical range all year long, but there is a portion of the population that makes a short migration trip each year.


Another species that comes with a mysteriously hard to track migration pattern is that of the Killdeer. This species spends the summer months spread across much of Canada, with a large year-round population residing in the United States. It has been noted that many of the Canadian summer residents will make the short trip, and enjoy a slightly warmer winter spread among the Gulf Coast and South Atlantic states of the US.


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