Well, here we are nearing the middle of the summer months. With enough rain to drown a beaver, wildlife is abundant and active as ever as there is plenty of natural food available!
With numerous sightings of deer fawns, bears and a variety of other critters flowing in from folks who visit us in the store, it’s been a great summer to be outdoors…weather permitting.
That said, when it comes to the birding world, lots is going on this time of year. As the nesting season has ended for the majority of our birds here in the Ottawa area, juveniles are finding their way into the natural swing of things while other species are entering the beginning stages of migration.
In an effort to break down what’s been happening out there and what we can expect over the coming weeks, here is a complete mid-summer birding breakdown we all hope you will enjoy.
Yes, we realize it is still July, but believe it or not, migration is under way. As we mentioned earlier in the summer, our goldfinches have left us in search of good feeding and nesting grounds just north of us. As their nesting season comes to a close, expect to see additional flashes of these brilliant yellow birds as they return to our area.
Which might come as a sign of relief for some, our grackles are also scheduled for departure very shortly. While many will hang around for some time, you should begin to notice large groups of them in farmer’s fields as they prepare for their journey. Additionally, now is perhaps the last time to catch certain species of warblers as well as our great crested flycatchers as these early spring arrivals are among the first to leave us during the mid-summer months.
As some of you might have noticed, the arrival of fall and colder weather is already noticeable among some of our favourite bird species. You should begin to notice that the once colourful male plumages are beginning to transition into their less colourful fall plumage.
It is important to remember the birding basics during this time of year as colours fade. You will want to identify the silhouette of the bird, the beak shape and any markings you can pinpoint to successfully continue to ID birds into the fall season.
While our seed never goes out of style, it’s not quite time yet to change to our heavier fall and winter blends. That time will come shortly, but as some species do begin to migrate, this is a great time to capitalize on birds passing through.
The addition of feed such as mealworms does certainly help out the local population, but will also give you an opportunity to spot insect favouring species as they make their way through our area either on northbound or southbound trajectories.