Following the Birds into Autumn Migration

Autumn migration by Marvin de Jong USFWS Migratory BirdsIn the autumn season when we see flocks of birds overhead, we know that cold weather is coming.  The annual migration does not mean that all birds are leaving the Pacific Northwest, known for its mild winters.  Some birds, including some kingfishers and even hummingbirds, will stay for the season.

There are a lot of great ways to follow bird activity all year round via local resources such as the Seattle Audubon Society, with its office at 8050 35th Ave NE in the Wedgwood neighborhood of northeast Seattle.  Seattle Audubon birdwatching, photography and sketching classes are led by neighborhood residents, including photographer Joe Sweeney and sketcher Carleen Zimmerman.

Migratory Birds USFWS photoAnother fun way to follow the birds (while staying warm and cozy indoors!) is via on-line tracking sites.  Birds Over Portland uses images from a doppler radar station in Oregon to document bird migration, with patterns showing up as far north as Seattle.

National birding websites include regional info and you can also track your favorite species of birds, such as a recent article on All About Birds called “Where Can I Go to Watch Hawk Migration?

BirdNote, a daily bird-info site which has contributing writers from the Wedgwood neighborhood, tells about the behavior and typical migration patterns of different species, such as this recent article about Purple Martins (a swallow) on their journey to Brazil.

The Whooping Crane Class of 2015 left Wisconsin on September 30th, led by an ultralight plane, for wintering grounds in Florida.

The Whooping Crane Class of 2015 left Wisconsin on September 30th, led by an ultralight plane, for wintering grounds in Florida, in the final year of ultralight-led migration.

Are you interested in the migration patterns of eagles, hummingbirds, monarch butterflies or even whooping cranes????  There is a migration tracking page for each, on the website of Journey North.   Sadly, the annual ultra-light plane whooping crane migration ended in 2015, with the explanation given on the Operation Migration page.

Watching the migrations of birds and butterflies heightens our appreciation of all of God’s creatures and the seasonal changes which are the rhythm of our lives on Planet Earth.

About Wedgwood in Seattle History

Valarie is a volunteer writer of neighborhood history in Seattle.
This entry was posted in Nature and wildlife and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Following the Birds into Autumn Migration

  1. An awful lot of Northern Flickers in my neighborhood (Madison Valley) right now, especially our backyard.

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