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Blog Birding #321

Connecticut Warblers are skulky in the best of times, and a real treat to see. That evasiveness and novelty makes the news about their extraordinary fall migration all the more amazing. Emily McKinnon at Movement Ecology of Animals discovered this unexpected migration and writes about it.

I think there are a lot of reasons, actually. First of all, Connecticut Warblers, on a global scale, are not very abundant, so they are not a species commonly captured or seen by banders or birders. They nest in the southern-boreal aspen-transition habitats in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and some parts of the northern Great Lakes states like Wisconsin and Michigan, but they are not common even within their breeding range. Not many people venture out into bogs in June in Manitoba either, and I know why!

And at the Boreal Birds Blog, Jeff Wells explains what this new finding means for conservation of Connecticut Warblers and other birds who share that habitat.

There are 60% fewer Connecticut Warblers than there were in 1970, making them a prime candidate for further research.  Their range overlaps with the most heavily logged and fragmented portion of the southern Boreal Forest, a fact in common with other imperiled songbirds like Canada Warbler and Evening Grosbeak.

At Shapshot of Nature, Jennifer Kepler enjoys the fallout of birders that an insect bloom attracts, along with the birds of course.

     Birders LOVE the hatch out because it bring birds that are normally up high down to eye level as they forage just above and on rotting logs that house these colonies. So since I was working Tuesday, along with many others– and with high warbler counts… yesterday morning many birders got in a before work/late to work birding session to see if there was anything that stuck around. I ran in to so many familiar and new faces along my walk, it was just so funny to see what felt like more birders than birds in Prospect Park yesterday…

At, Loretta Waldman breaks down a new study showing how the arrival of birds and the arrival of spring across much of the North American continent have become slightly unmoored.

A growing shift in the onset of spring has left nine of 48 species of songbirds studied unable to reach their northern breeding grounds at the calendar marks critical for producing the next generation of fledglings, according to a paper published today in Nature Scientific Reports.

That’s because in many regions, warming temperatures are triggering plants to begin their growth earlier or later than normal, skewing biological cycles that have long been in sync.

Ron Dudley at Feathered Photography uses a photogenic Black-headed Grosbeak to illustrate the important of appreciating natural perches.

This perch reminds me of the kind that some bird photographers (with different ethics than I have) often use as in their artificial setups. They typically pick an attractive natural-looking perch, cut it off from its living source and use a clamp stand or spare tripod to place it in good light with an attractive (often artificial) background. Then they use electronic bird calls and/or seed or other types of bait (hidden just out of view) to attract birds to the perch and then fire away using photo gear already set up on tripods at the perfect light angle and distance.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.
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