Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fall Migration

The migration is underway for many species of birds in North America. The migration is a natural occurrence that happens every fall and spring. In our neck of the woods many migrant species have started to build in numbers for the migration south. The St. Louis area is located on the Mississippi Flyway, or bird highway, that lots of species use to fly to their overwintering grounds.

Migration is the seasonal movement between breeding and overwintering grounds for many North American birds. Migrating birds are primarily driven by the availability of food, temperature and the photoperiod. Most North American migrating birds will leave for their overwintering grounds in early fall and return as early as late winter to breed and raise their young.

The Mississippi flyway is one used by many species in North America. Almost half of the waterfowl and shorebirds found in North America use the Mississippi flyway as a migration route. The Mississippi flyway is highly productive because the Mississippi River has carved a path into the landscape for the birds to follow south and the river itself provides many types of food for the migrants.

As the days get shorter and the leaves begin to change many new bird species will be finding their way into our backyards. Some of the more noticeable species that will be migrating are the Hummingbirds, Starlings, and Robins. In the weeks to come keep an eye out for new winged visitors in the yard.

Submitted by Adam Triska, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist

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