Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Transition to wintering avifauna is getting underway

This morning as I was walking in my neighborhood in Old Jefferson, I heard the check of a Yellow-rumped Warbler.  A block later, the sip of an Eastern Phoebe.

These are both winter arrivals- they will not be crossing the Gulf to continue their migration.  They are early representatives of our arriving wintering land bird contingent.  It was my first Yellow-rump of the season; I have had only a few other Phoebes.

Late October is the time when the last gasp of Neotropic-bound migrants comes through, and the first substantial waves of wintering land birds arrive.  Indigo Buntings and Gray Catbirds, arguably our most numerous late-season tropic-bound migrants, are in the waning phases of their passage.  While present in small numbers in winter, the vast bulk of both head for Mexico or farther south.

Most of our wintering land birds have been reported back already, though mostly in small numbers.  Larger waves of arrivals will continue through November, and taper rapidly in early December.  Pulses usually arrive after cold front passages, riding in on the northerly tailwinds.

Enjoy the change of seasons!


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