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After flying all the way from South America, migratory songbirds that fly through cities often seek out urban green spaces such as parks and cemeteries. These modest-sized areas can act as verdant oases in the middle of pavement and metal and can be hidden gems for city dwellers hoping to see migratory birds in their neighborhoods.
Songbirds Flock to Urban Green Spaces
Written by Ariana Remmel
This is BirdNote.
Imagine you’re a songbird flying north under a starlit sky during spring migration. You’re high above the Mississippi Flyway, gliding toward your summer breeding habitat. You’ve flown thousands of miles just tonight, and the rising sun reminds you it's time to rest and refuel. With your bird’s eye view of the nearest city, the concrete jungle doesn’t look too appealing. But look! Just ahead, you see a rectangle of lush green.
[Blackburnian Warbler in Carondelet Park]
After flying all the way from South America, this Blackburnian Warbler is spending a layover in Carondelet Park in St. Louis, Missouri. The luxuriant green foliage provides tasty insects, which this fiery orange and black songbird needs to build up calories for his journey to coniferous forests farther north.
[Bay-breasted Warbler in Carondelet Park]
Other species have spotted this park, too, lured by a verdant oasis in the middle of pavement and metal. A Bay-breasted Warbler is rehearsing the song he’ll use to find a mate once he arrives in Canada. City parks, tree-lined boulevards — and even cemeteries — can be hidden gems for city dwellers hoping to see migratory birds in their neighborhoods.
For BirdNote, I’m Mark Bramhill.
The bird songs you heard in today’s episode were originally part of the project Voices of a Flyway. To learn more about the birds and people of the Mississippi Flyway, visit our website, BirdNote dot org.
Senior Producer: John Kessler
Production Manager: Allison Wilson
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Digital Producer: Conor Gearin
Blackburnian Warbler and Bay-breasted Warbler recordings provided by Jacob Job.
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© September 2021 BirdNote Narrator: Mark Bramhill