For the Birds: Patience pays off again

Photo by Chris Bosak A yellow-rumped warbler eats poison ivy berries in New England, fall 2021.

Any birdwatcher knows that patience and faith are perhaps the two most important components to a successful bird walk.

I started a recent walk with high hopes, as I always do, but as the morning went on and no birds were to be found, I started to lose hope of seeing anything. To compound matters, the field at the park had recently been mowed for the first time of the year, making bird encounters even less likely.

It still would have been a pleasant walk because the autumn morning chill had given way to a beautiful and warm sunny day. But with fall migration in full swing, I was disappointed in the birding results.

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For the Birds: Get out there for fall migration

Photo by Chris Bosak A Red-tailed hawk at Weed Beach in Darien, Conn., January 2015.
Photo by Chris Bosak — The hawk migration is a highlight of the fall bird migration in New England.

There is more to the fall migration than hawk watches on top of mountains. Watching raptors effortlessly soar among the thermals is indeed the highlight of the fall migration, but everything from shorebirds and songbirds to waders and waterfowl move south in the fall as well.

The fall migration does not garner as much enthusiasm as the spring migration among most birders for many reasons, I believe.

The height of the spring migration is concentrated into a predictable three- or four-week period when you are assured of seeing many colorful songbirds. The fall migration is more spread out. It actually started in July with some shorebirds moving south and will Continue reading