Happy World Migratory Bird Day! I’ll be celebrating out there with binoculars, waiting to see what is flying through. The last few days our oak trees have been alive with birds flitting and fluttering through the oak trees and the underbrush. You can help by keeping lights off at night and recording the birds you see. If you’re on the island, I’ll be over at the landings between 7:30 and 9 to watch for birds.
Half a Billion Birds on the Move
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology released an astonishing statistic: they expected half a billion birds (yup: 500k) on the move. Certainly we’ve been delighted to see who is passing through. From the juvenile Cave Swallow that landed on the porch railing for a rest, to the rustlings of the Gray Catbirds and Common Yellowthroats in the underbrush, it’s an exciting time of year.
Keep an eye out for the flared yellow tail feathers of the American Redstart, the black cap on the Gray Catbird, the gorgeous colors of a Common Yellowthroat or the downward posture of a Black and White warbler. Here are some more to look out for:
Focusing on Light Pollution
This year’s theme encourages everyone to turn your lights off between 10 pm and 6 am to avoid confusing night migrants. Dewees is a unique birding location because it sits at the end of 60 miles of undeveloped coast on the eastern flyway. Our architectural guidelines require that Dewees homes limit outdoor lighting to point downward or be in a color tone that doesn’t interrupt wildlife.
Report your sightings
October 8, 2022 is an October Big Day for Birding. That means you can be a part of a global effort to report the birds you’re seeing tomorrow. Come join me at the landings for coffee (BYO) and birding on the porch if you want to help report our island birds.