PREDICTING THE BEST TIMES TO SEE SPRING MIGRANTS IN YOUR YARD

        April is a great time to see spring migrants in your backyard.  However, many homeowners see few of these beautiful birds as they pass through their yards en route to their breeding grounds  simply because they are not looking for them at the right times.  However, by closely watching changes in the weather, you can predict when to focus your search efforts for these often-elusive birds.

        Throughout the month of April, birds are streaming home from their wintering grounds south of our borders; some of the birds pass over your yard nightly.  As such, you have the opportunity of spotting some of these birds in your backyard, if you have the right habitat.  For example, many migratory warblers prefer to set down in forests.  If you yard has the most mature trees in your area, you are really in luck as migrants sometimes congregate there in large numbers.

        Northbound migrants prefer to fly with warm, southerly tailwinds.

In comparison, if a cold front suddenly brings chilly winds out of the north accompanied by either dry or rainy weather, migrants will often drop down from the skies and wait for more suitable flying weather.

        Another great time to see migrants occurs when your yard is located along the southern edge of a low system bearing rain. 

        Migrants will also interrupt their migration when faced with poor visibility brought about by clouds, rain, and foggy weather.

         When a large number of migrating songbirds suddenly appears in a small area the event is called fallout.  During these special times you sometimes have the opportunity to see a dozen or more species that otherwise would fly over your property. 

        Unfortunately, these amazing assemblages of birds do not last long.  As soon as the weather changes, they are on the wing again.  With that in mind, if any of weather conditions I have mention occur in your corner of the world this month, take the time to search the treetops in your yard before heading out to work.  If you do, you just might be lucky enough to witness every birder’s dream– a fallout.

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