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Seasonal Notes: September

Orioles Out; Hummers Still Here We lament the migration of the orioles as they leave this week. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds will continue to visit feeders well into October. Male hummingbirds migrate first so we will be seeing mostly females and juveniles at the feeders. Change your nectar every three days or so. Apply mint extract to the nectar ports to deter…

Best Bird Seeds for Winter

As with every season, you should select seed for the type of birds you’d like to attract and the environment in which you reside. However, in cold weather climates, you should also consider birds’ additional energy needs. Birds must eat more per hour during cold weather in order to energize their metabolism and produce body heat. With fewer daylight hours…

Late-Nesting Goldfinches

Goldfinches are the latest nesting songbird in Minnesota. Unlike most of our songbirds, they do not feed their young insects or larvae as their diet is strictly vegetarian. As a result, Goldfinches delay nesting until milkweed, thistle and other plants produce seeds in an effort to ensure that there will be plentiful food sources to feed their young. Typically in…

More Early Signs of Spring

This time of year, you might find yourself looking to the gray skies and asking out loud, “WHEN? When will it be Spring?” You’re not alone. By mid-February, the infatuation with fluffy snows and chunky sweaters gives way to fantasies of grassy lawns and bare feet for many of us here in Minnesota. If you’re among those looking for signs…

Scandinavian Tradition for the Birds

A Holiday Act of Kindness Towards Birds The Scandinavian countries have a beautiful tradition of encouraging the kind treatment of birds at Christmas time. They believe that if you spread birdseed outside your doorstep on Christmas morning, thus including the birds in the feasting that takes place inside your home, you will have good luck in the coming year. This…

Transitions

Reflecting on Seasonal Changes I feel a bit wistful after the orioles leave for Mexico, Central and South America. I will miss their chatter and their beauty. I am cheered by the Hummingbirds that visit my yard more frequently in September than during nesting season. I keep the feeders filled with fresh nectar well into October, just in case.

Fall Migration Begins

Migration Events to Anticipate in Late Summer to Autumn As you read this, fall migration will be well underway. This generally north-to-south movement follows a similar pattern each year. This list below gives you an idea of what to expect. But always remember, birds don’t read the books! MID-JULY Fall migration begins, with the first shorebirds moving southward.