It’s hard to believe that it’s already that time of year for many of our fine, feathered friends to depart us until next Spring. There is a lot of information out there about migration and various studies are still being conducted. In general, most species migrate by instinct or have learned their route from their parents and the generations before them. As soon as the days start getting shorter they are preparing for their trip. Other species such as Tundra Swans and Sandhill Cranes keep the weather in check and will hang around until it’s absolutely time for them to go; as late as December in Michigan as some credit climate change to the increasing temperature in early Winter months.
Regardless of what information you might be taking in, one thing remains the same…BIRDS NEED FOOD! The best way you can help these tiny travelers is by planting a host of native plants in your landscape. Native’s will attract the kinds of insects migrants need to fuel their journey. If you are short on natives, or just want to provide as much energy dense foods as you can, Northland Nature Nest offers a variety of suet and protein packed, specially blended seed that are sure to be welcomed meals on your bird buffet. We even have suet and cylinder feeders that have insects packed in like Mr. Bird’s “Bugs, Nuts & Fruit” blend! These nutritional blends won’t go to waste either as the species that stay local will need the extra protein and fat to help sustain them through Winter.
As sad as it might be to see our regular backyard visitors go, this is also a great time of year to be on the look out for the visitors passing through. Within the next couple of months, in Kent County and around Grand Rapids, get your field guides handy and be on the lookout for the Black-throated Blue Warbler, Blackpoli Warbler, Northern Parula, Ovenbird, Sharp-tailed Sparrow, and Yellow Warbler. And for you hummer lovers, a good rule of thumb is to keep your Hummingbird feeder out for another two weeks since the last time you spotted one at your feeder. Most hummers are already on their way south but it’s good to make food available for the stragglers.
Northland Nature Nest, Bird Expert