Signs of Fall Migration

Sorry to say, as you’re reading this while sipping your lemonade, basking in the summer sun by your pool, but birds will soon be heading south again! The first signs of migration are found in the blackbirds, flycatchers, swallows, and shorebirds. Blackbirds begin to form massive congregations in marshes, typically in mid July. These congregations grow in size throughout the summer — this is not Icteridstock or some variation of the party theme, this is a real sign of “bye bye” until the following spring! Adult flycatchers, such as Empidonax, begin migrating southward as early as early to mid July. Least and Yellow-bellied’s, for example, peak at least a month before juveniles. Amazing, isn’t it? Barely spending 70 days on their breeding grounds before turning around and making the long flight back to central and South America. Adult shorebirds–both successful and failed breeders as well as first summer birds–will begin popping up at sewage lagoons very shortly, as well. A visit to a sewage lagoon or shorebird haunt (such as Martin Edwards Reserve on Amherst Island) in mid-July will very likely produce views of scraggly-looking adult shorebirds.