Weather Forecast for the Birds
Migration is in full swing! While there have not been any major cold fronts to force birds to land the last week or so, we are entering the peak of migration in many areas. There has been a steady stream of migrants moving into many parts of the country. Places along the Gulf coast all the way up to Buffalo, NY have been reporting as many as 14 species of warblers, 5 species of vireos, along with tanagers, flycatchers, and Baltimore Oriole sightings! There have been oriole sightings in along the Texas coast, eastern Tennessee, Dayton, OH, Missouri, and (appropriately) many parts of Maryland. At my study site, I saw the first Chestnut-sided Warblers, Acadian Flycatchers, Yellow-breasted Chats, and Yellow-billed Cuckoos.
In my last report, I asked you to think about why male birds often arrive ahead of females. The answer is that males want arrive early to establish a territory. A territory is simply an area an animal claims for its home. Male birds, including orioles, want to find the best territory possible so that when the females arrive they can start attracting them and showing them what a great home they have picked out. You can tell male and female orioles apart. When orioles start arriving in your area, try keeping track of how many males and females you see for several weeks. You should notice the pattern I am talking about.
Dr. David Aborn
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