Fall Migration Notes

Fall Migration is underway and while your birdfeeders will slow down as we approach October birdwatching will only get more interesting.  Have your binoculars with you and ready because warblers are pouring through middle Tennessee stopping to feed in the early mornings on insects and berries.  Mornings are the best time to see lots of different species of warblers.  And mornings after a storm tend to be even better.  Make time to visit one of the many great local birdwatching areas this fall to see some of them.  For information about great places to birdwatch click on the links below…


More on bird migration

A recent article in Birdwatching magazine describes studies of birds that make impressive journeys during migration.  Researchers have found that the Connecticut Warbler is one of those birds.  Scientists fitted 29 male Connecticut Warblers with geolocators at their breeding sites in Manitoba, Canada.  A year later, they recaptured four of the birds and studied the data stored on their devices. The trackers provided clear evidence that the birds migrate nonstop over the Atlantic for at least 48 hours from the eastern shores of the U.S. to landing points on Cuba or Hispaniola.  They fly for 48 hrs. without rest!  That’s a total distance of 1,050 to 1,490 miles.  After a stopover of five to seven days, the warblers flew over the Caribbean Sea in a single flight, covering 375 to 500 miles, to South America.  They then continued into the Amazon basin.  Another diminutive bird but a big time traveler is the Blackpoll Warbler.  It currently is known to have the longest migration of any North American songbird.  They make a nonstop flight south over the Atlantic Ocean each fall, from New England and eastern Canada to Caribbean islands.  The marathon flight ranges from 1,410 to 1,721 miles and takes two to three days. Imagine that incredible journey.  Both these birds measure less than 6” in length.

Connecticut Warbler This is a large warbler measuring around 5.5”.  Males have a gray hood while the hood of female and juvenile birds is more of a brown. It has a yellow belly and undertail coverts. They, of course, are not feeder birds and consume primarily insects and berries. Click on the picture to learn more on the Connecticut warbler on allaboutbirds.org

Connecticut Warbler

This is a large warbler measuring around 5.5”.  Males have a gray hood while the hood of female and juvenile birds is more of a brown. It has a yellow belly and undertail coverts. They, of course, are not feeder birds and consume primarily insects and berries. Click on the picture to learn more on the Connecticut warbler on allaboutbirds.org

Blackpoll Warbler This is a large warbler measuring around 5.5”. Males are striped gray with a black cap and white cheeks. Females in breeding plumage are greenish gray above, streaked and whitish below. Click on the picture to learn more on the Blackpoll warbler on allaboutbirds.org 

Blackpoll Warbler

This is a large warbler measuring around 5.5”. Males are striped gray with a black cap and white cheeks. Females in breeding plumage are greenish gray above, streaked and whitish below. Click on the picture to learn more on the Blackpoll warbler on allaboutbirds.org 

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BINOCULAR SPECIAL  $10 to $40 Off All In-Stock binoculars.  Whether you need new binoculars for birding or for football games Nikon has a choice to fit your needs.  September 22 thru September 28 stop by the shop and take advantage of these deals: 

  • Monarch 7 8x42 and 10x42     $40 Off                Prostaff Compact 8x25 and 10x25 $10 Off
  • Monarch 5 8x42 and 10x42     $25 Off                Travelite Compact 8x25 and 10x25  $10 Off
  • Prostaff 7 8x30 and 10x30      $15 Off                  Trailblazer Compact 8x25  $10 Off
  • Prostaff 3 8x42 and 10x42      $10 Off                  Aculon 7x35  $10 Off

And About Hummingbirds

Hummingbird migration is definitely at, or on the back side of, its peak.  Just two weeks ago hummingbirds were consuming nearly a gallon of nectar per day at my home in Pegram.  After last week’s cool front and rain the numbers of hummingbirds at my feeders dropped to just a few.  Interestingly, the hummingbirds we are seeing are choosing the big bunches of Salvia in the garden over the feeders.  We may see Ruby-throated hummingbirds well into October so keep your feeders out with fresh nectar as there may be several waves of hummingbirds still coming through TN on their return to Central and South America. The belief that feeders should be taken down to cause the birds to migrate is incorrect.  They will leave when they are ready whether there is a feeder present or not.