Fall Bird Migration is Underway:
Fall migration is an exciting time for birding. With migrants on the move your favorite birding site can change within a few days, with different species traveling in and out. Every spring and fall, thousands of raptors migrate, and birders may see or hear eagles, kestrels, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Ospreys, Broad-winged Hawks, and Peregrine Falcons among others. The NYS Birding Trail highlights several hawk watches including Bear Mountain Hawk Watch at Bear Mountain State Park, Hook Mountain Hawk Watch, and Mount Peter Hawkwatch Trailway, all within the Hudson Valley segment.
It’s also important for everyone to turn off the lights for birds at night. DEC launched the ‘Lights Out’ initiative aimed at keeping non-essential outdoor lighting from affecting the ability of birds to migrate successfully. Many species of shorebirds and songbirds rely on constellations to help them navigate to and from their summer breeding grounds through the State. Excessive outdoor lighting, especially in adverse weather conditions, can cause these migrating birds to become disoriented, a phenomenon known as fatal light attraction.
While you observe all the birds migrating this fall, finish your 2022 I Bird NY Challenge offered for beginners in English and Spanish, as well as experienced in both English and Spanish. Don’t forget to sign up for our Words of a Feather newsletter, a monthly e-newsletter for birding news, updates on the NYS Birding Trail, and upcoming birding events near you.
Visit the NYS Birding Trail – All Regions Now Complete:
Just in time for fall migration, DEC announced the opening of the final three segments of the NYS Birding Trail. The Adirondacks-North Country, Catskills, and Southern Tier segments bring the total number of birding trail locations across the state to over 300, with a variety of parks and other public spaces for new and experienced birders to enjoy.
The Adirondacks-North Country segment includes 41 locations and offers unique opportunities including the chance to experience historic great camps and views of the Adirondack High Peaks while observing boreal species such as loons, boreal chickadees and the Canada jay. The Catskills segments includes 23 locations from Forest Preserve lands and iconic state parks to a national wildlife refuge and the popular Ashokan Rail Trail. The Southern Tier segment includes 34 locations and is full of breathtaking scenery from the deep forests of Allegany State Park to the gorges and towering rock formations of Watkins Glen State Park, Rock City, and McCarty Hill State Forests. Visit the NYS Birding Trail website to see a Google Map, find other birding trail resources, and more. Keep scrolling for more on fall bird migration.
Photo at top: Red Shoulder Hawk in Sanibel Island, Florida. Photo provided by the DEC.