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Thursday, August 01, 2013

What's Happening Now with Birds in August, What You Should Know!

Hummingbirds are migrating big-time in August and into Sept. This Ruby-throated Hummingbird is visiting our Lady-in-Red Salvia. Both adult hummers and young ones are beginning to move and their populations are at peak. Keep your hummingbird feeders clean (clean every 2-3 days in hot weather so no black mold grows in feeders) and filled with fresh nectar and enjoy the hummingbird parade.

Here are resting Sanderlings.

Shorebirds are starting to migrate and will continue big time in Aug. Many shorebirds have completed their breeding cycle and are leaving their nesting areas in far northern North America and beginning their journey south. Birders on the NH coast are reporting seeing Semipalmated Plovers, Greater Yellowlegs, and Semipalmated Sandpipers. MA birders who go to South Beach, off Chatham, Cape Cod, can see large numbers of shorebirds such as the ones just mentions plus, Hudsonian and Marbled Godwits, Whimbrels, Willets, Red Knots, Lesser Yellowlegs, Black-bellied Plovers, Sanderlings, Short-billed Dowitchers and more. You can see shorebirds at coastal and inland water locations, so take your binos and see what you can find.

Here are some resting shorebirds, mainly Semi-palmated Sandpipers, Semi-palmated Plovers and a few White-rumped Sandpipers, in a parking lot on the NH coast, trying to get much needed rest. These little birds must travel very far to their wintering grounds south of the U.S. They need to stock up on food to fuel them, and get some rest also. There are so little places left for them, this parking lot by a fishing coop must do today. To learn to ID shorebirds, do it by shape and size. If you are a beginner or intermediate get our Stokes Beginner's Guide to Shorebirds, sooo easy. For the full nine yards and THE most complete reference, get our best-selling The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America or the regional versions, The New Stokes Field Guide to Birds: Eastern and Western Region.

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plovers are migrating

Nestling Eastern Phoebes from a second brood

Being fed by their parent

Backyard birds are on their second and third broods. Some birds nest only once but many, such as Cardinals, House Wrens, Bluebirds, Eastern Phoebes, and more can nest two or even three times, especially in southern areas.

Here are nestling Eastern Phoebes in our barn, here in NH. The nest is on one of the lights in the rafters, just the kind of sheltered ledge that Phoebe's like as a nesting spot. This is the second brood of this pair who we think is the same pair that have nested in this same spot for the last 3 years. The nestlings are so cute and waiting to be fed by the parent.

Two days later they fledged into the big world. They will be fed for up to 3 more weeks by their parents. Then they will be on their own, having find their own food, survive the dangers of their first migration, then return to the north and find mates and breeding territories of their own. Quite a big challenge they have ahead of them.

So much is happening in the world of birds in August so get out, go birding!!

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