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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Indigo Bunting & Spring Migration

I was thinking about bird migration and where to go to see major spring migration. Much songbird migration takes place from mid-April to mid-May. Starting in mid-April one of the prime places to be is on the Gulf Coast. Many spring migrants, who winter in Central and South America go across the Gulf of Mexico. We have been in Sanibel Island, FL and Ft. De Soto park (below Tampa) FL, and been standing at the waterfront and seen birds appear before our eyes, flying in from the ocean, having just crossed the Gulf of Mexico. It is quite awesome. Indigo, Painted and Blue Buntings, Orioles, Tanagers, Kingbirds, and Warblers land in the trees. Hummingbirds fly to the nearest flowers or feeders.
We have also been on the Texas coast, at places like South Padre Island, and seen migration "fall out", where birds coming across the Gulf, encouter a head wind and are grounded as they reach shore, landing on the beach, or any little shrub or tree. Hundreds and hundreds of birds right around us. It is mind-boggling, although in that case, not so good for the tired birds. You hope the winds shift and they can be on their way and find food.
Some Indigo Buntings also winter in FL and that is where I took this photo.
By early May, many migrants are reaching the northern part of the country and then you want to go to Magee Marsh/Crane Creek, OH, Central Park, NY, Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA, or Pt. Pelee National Park, Ontario Canada.

7 comments:

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Gorgeous photo.My dream would be to be a place like the ones you describe,and see a fallout.
Blessings,Ruth

Montanagirl said...

This is a beautiful shot!

North West Birds said...

That bunting is so cool!

Bird houses said...

wow great photo..so bright!

Lizzie said...

I saw my first glimpse of this beautiful bird yesterday. Came home today and there were 5 at my feeder. What a thrill! Took a few pictures!

Elizabeth said...

I've been enjoying a day spent on the Gulf Coast of Florida watching an Indigo Bunting Male snooze, oh there he's back gota fly!

Sue said...

We've been enjoying this delightful treat today when a small flock appeared on the deck of our Gulf Coast, MS home, flickering in/out the weeping willow.