14 June 2021
Very soon Pennsylvania birders will reach our annual psychic low point. If you watch peregrine or bald eagle nestcams you’re already there. Spring migration is over and the nestcams are quiet. Soon the birds will stop singing. We are bound to feel let down after so much excitement.
I was reminded of our emotional roller coaster when I rediscovered “The Birder’s Year” graph posted in 2014 on the The Birders Conundrum blog. Back then bloggers Sam Jolly @JollyBirding and Lucas Bobay @BirderBobay were avid birders in high school in North Carolina. They have since moved on, still birding not blogging, but their website is alive at The Birders Conundrum so you can see their original graph here.
The moment I saw their graph I realized that mine is a slightly different. I get excited in February and March when peregrines court and lay eggs. Incubation is boring in April but migration heats up in May and the nestlings are on the falconcam. Even so, I reach the same trough in July as the rest of Pennsylvania’s birders. You can see this on my altered version of Sam and Lucas’s graph which I’ve labeled The Peregrine Birder’s Year.
Perhaps you’ve noticed too that we’re heading for a low point in The Birder’s Year.
p.s. In the graph above CMWA = the last Cape May Warbler, CBC = Christmas Bird Count
(photo from Wikimedia Commons, graph altered from one by Sam & Lucas at The Birders Conundrum)