Songbird Migration 2019

The National Wildlife Federation has promoted the creation of sustainable wildlife habitat for as long as I can remember. It maintains that “Anyone can create a welcoming haven for local wildlife”. The scope of this mission is broad – residential properties, institutional grounds, urban green spaces, etc. – and the support is equally impressive. Programs include gardening for wildlife (including butterflies and bees), the certification of wildlife habitat, education, current events and photo contests.

The rewards of wildlife habitat enhancement are evident throughout the year, but never more so than during the peak spring migration in May. Songbirds in myriad shapes, sizes and colors are on the move. Some are passing through, perhaps offering no more than a glimpse, while others are settling in on summer range. In either case, the birds need places to rest, feed, shelter — habitat!

Visitors to habitats around a home present opportunities for viewing and photographing that are virtually impossible at other times of the year for many species. This post is an example. Overall, the habitat includes mature trees, shrubs, herbaceous vegetation, water and feeders. The micro habitat for most of the images is a purple-leaf sand cherry and bird feeders next to the house. The sand cherry, a shrubby tree, provides valuable perching habitat and convenient access to feeders.

Male hummingbird guarding a sugar water feeder (1 of 2; May 10 and 15, 2019)

Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak at the feeders in mid May (1 of 2; May 6 and 15, 2019)

Male Baltimore Oriole exploring its feeding options (1 of 2; May 16, 2019))

Male Indigo Bunting (May 17, 2019)

Female Eastern Towhee laying claim to a nesting territory (May 15, 2019)

Photos by NB Hunter. © All rights reserved.

7 thoughts on “Songbird Migration 2019

  1. Gorgeous birds and lovely photos. I think it is so important to note that providing for birds includes habitat as you say, and not just a bird feeder or two in an otherwise sterile environment.

  2. Gosh, you do have beautiful birds visiting! The number of birds we see in our garden have multiplied over the years as the trees have matured and the variety of habitats have increased. People often forget that birds need to feel safe when drinking or feeding, so a bird bath in the middle of an open lawn is unlikely to be visited as often as one close to shrubs or a tree.

  3. We’ve been having some great fun planting native plants for the birds and the bees, along with feeders and some birdhouses. Our first success seems to be a pair of violet and green swallows that have been seen zipping in and out with bits of twigs and grasses. The camera is kept handy, though the house is in a rather shaded spot, so not quite ideal. It’s been a joy to see the yard come alive. I’ve been having some problems with my eyes and have to limit time at the computer screen, so the great green outdoors provides lots of viewing pleasure.

    I gave up on seeds to start the milkweed, but found some native starts. The weather has cooperated nicely with intermittent days of rain since the plants were put in the ground. Fingers crossed! 😀

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