South Wind

Songbirds migrate at night and they like to have a tail wind so this week's weather has been great for moving north.

Before dawn on Monday the wind swung around to the south. That morning I saw my first Baltimore oriole of the year and heard a red-eyed vireo in Schenley Park.

Yesterday I saw a chestnut-sided warbler, a hooded warbler (pictured above), white-throated sparrows and many rose-breasted grosbeaks.

Despite the rain I bet it will be another good day for birds.

I wonder who arrived last night on the warm wind.

(photo of a hooded warbler at Sewickley Heights Park, April 28, by Shawn Collins)

7 thoughts on “South Wind

  1. Yesterday late in day on my deck in Bridgeville I sawa rose breasted grosbeak. Was so happy to see him. He probably won’t be back much though, my neighbors do not want me to feed the birds anymore. But I enjoy who flies by.

  2. Heard a Yellow warbler and a Chestnut-sided Warbler yesterday at work in Cranberry. Our local House Wren came back a week ago.

  3. Yet another example of early warm weather upsetting the scheme of things. In this case it was a bird who usually breeds far north of here, trying to nest in my yard. I found it lying dead on my driveway, below a large picture window that it evidently had collided with. It still had a dandelion seed it its beak. After much consulting of bird books and a good look at the poor little corpse, I believe it was a gray cheeked thrush. I had seen it feeding on the ground a few days before and wondered who it was. It had a slaty brown back and tail (no rust-colored feathers), a white breast with brown dots on the upper part, no eye ring, and gray cheeks. According to my reference books, this species winters in South America and passes through our area while migrating to nest in Canada, and thus is relatively rare here. Could this little bird have been fooled by the warm weather here and stopped to raise a brood in our area? I was never aware of it singing. I looked in vain for a nest. Can anyone give us more information on this lovely little thrush?

  4. Songbirds are flooding in to the area. At lunch today on my walk, I saw a Black and White warbler several Yellow Rumped and heard Orioles, a Tanager and other warblers. Over the last few days I’ve also seen Ruby Crowned Kinglets, a Palm Warbler, Hooded, Nashville and Magnolia warbler. I’ve heard Yellow warblers while driving with the windows down. I heard aslo a Blue Winged warbler on one of my walks. White Throated sparrows are heading north, Cat birds are moving in.

    I love this time of year. And we still have 2-3 weeks more of this.

  5. I heard first wood thrush of the season this morning. With the early warm weather it seemed to take longer for the migrants to arrive.

  6. Mary S. Lewis wrote:
    >Could this little bird have been fooled by the warm weather here and stopped to raise a brood in our area? I was never aware of it singing. I looked in vain for a nest. Can anyone give us more information on this lovely little thrush?

    Fooled by the warm weather: This year we found out that plants & insects are fooled by the warm weather but most of the birds are not. Among thrushes: Robins and hermit thrushes spend the winter in the U.S. so they knew the weather was warm and could move north early. Wood thrushes spend the winter in Central America -and- Veerys, Swainsons and Gray-checked thrushes spend the winter in South America. None of them had a clue that our weather was ahead of schedule so the early birds of those species are not a great deal earlier than normal.

    Your bird could have been a gray-cheeked thrush but I think it probably wasn’t. Gray-cheeked thrushes migrate later than the other thrushes and none have been reported on PABIRDS (Pennsylvania) yet. Wood Thrushes are moving through and they do nest here. They have brown dots on their breasts and rich brown backs & heads. Perhaps it was a wood thrush…

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