Fall is Prime Bird Watching Time

Fall is a prime time to go bird watching. Not only is the weather perfect, but with the leaves off of the trees, it is much easier to see birds in them. With migration in full swing, an entire slew of wonderful birds can be seen in fall. Not only will the normal summer residents be heading south, but you will see the northern-dwellers such as Pine Siskins, White-Throated Sparrows, Brown Creepers, Red-Breasted Nuthatches (my particular favorite), and many warbler species as they leave Canada as they head to South America. I personally like fall the best out of all of the seasons. The cool (but not too cold) weather, the beautiful scenery outside, the fact that there is still plenty of outdoor work to do (I love outdoor work), bird watching peaks, and also it is time to put up bird feeders for the next feeding season. I get extremely excited when the weather starts to cool and the leaves begin to fall.

   I vividly remember last year on October 7th, as soon as I was home from church I headed straight to the woods for a bird watching trip. I still remember the excitement I felt at all of the bird species I saw that day. As posted in my article the day of the trip, it was truly the 'Best Bird Watching Trip in My Life'. My life list went up four during that trip, and all of the birds added were neat birds. The birds added were the Brown Creeper, Cape May Warbler, Golden-Crowned Kinglet, and the Tennessee Warbler. The day (or soon after) of the trip when I got back, I immediately marked down on the calender on October 6th 2013 to remind me to go bird watching in the same place. I have thought about this many times since then, not being able to wait until that day comes again. The only reason I ended my trip that day was becuase I became so hungry after two hours of walking around in the woods bird watching that I had to come back.

   Another reason why I love fall bird watching is because of the migration of the birds is in full swing and the transition from summer to winter birds is happening right before my eyes. I love the birds that are around in summer. The little Common Yellowthroats calling hoarsely from the briars, the vivid blue male Indigo Bunting singing from the very top of the Sycamore tree, the Oriole sipping nectar from the newly opened blooms in the Tulip tree, and most of all, the tiny little Ruby-Throated Hummingbird buzzing around the Fuschias and Hosta flowers. But I gladly accept their departure for the arrival of the 'winter' birds. 'Winter' birds are so different from 'summer' birds. They lack bright colors and bold markings, but they are wonderful in their own way. My particular favorite is the Red-Breasted Nuthatch. Not only do the pitifully puny birds seem to become my favorties, but these little birds are so brave. While the 9.5" Red-Bellied Woodpecker never comes near while I am near the feeders, the Red-Breasted Nuthatch, a mere 4.3" would walk down the tree trunk and start eating suet while I stood less than a foot away filling the bird feeder. While it never ate right out of my hand, it came very close to doing it.

   The transition from summer to winter birds is a welcome change, and one that I always look forward to.

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