Although we may think of autumn as the end of the growing season, a sort of winding down in the natural world, for birds it’s as much a season of renewal as the spring. In the colder months, we welcome back our winter birds — juncos, swans, and more — which spent the summer in their breeding territories to the north. Offering the right kind of food and environment in the winter months can attract these migrants to your yard!
Today’s show brought to you by the Bobolink Foundation.
Welcoming Back the Winter Birds
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote.
Although we may think of autumn as a sort of winding down period, for birds, it’s as much a season of renewal as the spring. In October and November, we embrace the annual arrival of our winter birds, which spent their summer in breeding territories far to the north.
In many parts of the Lower 48 states, autumn is the time when the juncos arrive. The arrival of Dark-eyed Juncos is so characteristic of the colder months that many people call them simply, “snowbirds”.
The White-throated Sparrow travels well into northern Canada during the breeding season. But in autumn, you’ll find them kicking up leaf litter from the East all the way down into Texas and even into the Southwest.
And October and November mark the southward move of those massive white birds, the swans. In the fall and winter, Tundra Swans fly to wetlands in the West and mid-Atlantic:
[Tundra Swan calls ]
While the larger Trumpeter Swans return to the Pacific Northwest:
[Trumpeter Swan calls]
So welcome back, and thanks for giving new life to the winter landscape.
For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.
This show brought to you by the Bobolink Foundation.
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by: ML107229 DEJU W Hershberger; ML176154 WTSP G.A. Keller; ML141136 TUSW G Vyn; ML3753 TRUS J Hartshorne.
BirdNote’s theme composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Managing Producer: Jason Saul
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
© 2018 Tune In to Nature.org November 2018 Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# winter-02-2018-11-01 winter-02