Meet several species that prefer to breed outside of spring and early summer.
Generally speaking, most birds nest when the temperatures are warmer and food resources, like insects and fruits, are abundant.
Late spring and early summer are the busiest breeding seasons for birds, but there are several forest species that prefer to nest outside of that peak time. Let’s take a look at three odd-season nesters and their preferred forest habitat.
While the chilliest months of the year may seem like the hardest time to venture outdoors, it can be a great time to go birding. Layer up and head out to your backyard, local park, or other public space and observe some of the bird species that you may not normally see during warmer months. Winter raptors (PDF) including snowy owls (PDF), short-eared owls, barn owls, and hawks migrate south from the Canadian tundra and can be observed near open bodies of water and large grasslands. Some species of woodpeckers may be easier to hear or see in their winter homes. Black-capped chickadees remain in Northern climates due to their ability to survive the ultra-cold weather. Winter is also the best time to observe bald eagles!
Use a website like eBird to see what species have been detected near you. The free Merlin Bird ID app can help you identify unfamiliar birds and add even more new species to your lists.
If you do brave the cold and snow, properly preparing for winter conditions is essential for a more enjoyable and safe experience. Check out our latest YouTube video on layering for winter, and read up on some of our winter hiking safety tips that can be for any outdoor trip.
Enjoy a weekend of birding events this Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 29-30 in Long Lake. Participants will look for winter irruptive species – Red Crossbills have already irrupted – along with Winter Finches, White-winged Crossbills, Pine Siskins, Purple Finches, and American Goldfinches. These species have been found gritting (eating sand and salt off the road to help with seed digestion), and foraging on cones.
Trip Leader and Birding expert, Joan Collins, will lead field trips on both days. Both Saturday and Sunday morning, participants will meet outside the Adirondack Hotel at 1245 Main St., Long Lake at 7 a.m. Located near the bridge over Long Lake on Route 30. Participants must take their own vehicles for this event.
Trip Leader Joan Collins, President of Adirondack Avian Expeditions & Workshops, LLC, leads birding trips year-round, is a New York State licensed guide, an Adirondack 46er, and has climbed all the Adirondack fire tower peaks. She is a past President of the New York State Ornithological Association and current Editor of New York Birders. She is a past Board of Directors member of the Audubon Council of New York State, and past President of Northern New York Audubon Society. Joan has published several journal, magazine, and newspaper articles on wildlife and conservation topics in various publications. She authored several warbler species accounts, in addition to serving as a peer reviewer for The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State. Joan is a frequent keynote speaker and teaches classes on ornithology topics.
Registration is required to attend the field trips and the field trips are free. Call the Long Lake Parks and Recreation Department at 518-624-3077 to pre-register. There is a maximum of 25 participants for each field trip.
The Winter Birding Weekend is sponsored by the Long Lake Parks and Recreation Department. For more info visit mylonglake.com
While it’s common for forest management activities to be carried out year round, seasons are an important consideration when working with birds.
In the summer, for example, you’ll easily notice if your forest is well-shaded by a large mature canopy, resulting in bare ground underneath. In this scenario, birds that need shrubs and small trees growing on the forest floor, like Ruffed Grouse and Black-throated Blue Warbler, may be absent.
As winter sets in across the North Country, devoted bird-enthusiasts resume feeding overwintering birds. They take both pleasure and pride in helping their feathered friends survive the harsh winter months, by dutifully providing them with food, water, and shelter.
Feeding birds during the winter can be a never-ending source of entertainment and enjoyment. And an easy, rewarding, and sometimes surprising way to connect with nature. No matter where you live, you can invite birds into your yard and help to ensure their survival by simply putting food out for them to find.
The Northern cardinal is a fairly large, long-tailed songbird with a short, very thick bill and a prominent crest. Male cardinals are brilliant red all over, with a reddish bill and black face immediately around the bill. Females are pale brown overall with warm reddish tinges in the wings, tail, and crest. They have the same black face and red-orange bill.
The male cardinal will fiercely defend its breeding territory from other males. When a male sees its reflection in glass surfaces, it frequently will spend hours fighting the imaginary intruder.
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