Rushton Bird Banding Station is Officially Open For “Birdness”

Goldfinch on echinacea at Penn State Arboretum's pollinator garden.  Photo by Anita Colyer Graham
Goldfinch on echinacea at Penn State Arboretum’s pollinator garden. Photo by Anita Colyer Graham
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Even the late nesting American Goldfinches are finished, which means fall migration is here and a flurry of all types of feathers are moving south through our area, especially tonight!!! With these severe storms bearing down on us and the winds changing from southerly to northerly overnight, conditions are ripe for fallouts in our region!  This is every birder’s dream and means that large mixed flocks of migratory birds will be traveling overnight and looking for places to rest before sunrise.  Places like Rushton Woods Preserve could be teeming with warblers and other beautiful migrants tomorrow morning.   Check out this amazing regional Bird Forecast that the Cornell Lab of Ornithology updates weekly.  Notice that we are clearly in the potential fallout zone for tomorrow.

Even last night was a great flight , much heavier than predicated, given the southerly winds and sticky conditions.  Check out this incredible footage of thousands of migrants, mostly warblers, that were temporarily trapped in the light beam in New York City for the 9-11 memorial last night.  Luckily, collision crises were avoided by changing the direction of the lights when the “living snowflakes” were observed by volunteers as venturing dangerously close to buildings.

Young Chestnut-sided Warbler. Photo by Jesse Estlow
Young Chestnut-sided Warbler. Photo by Jesse Estlow

In light of this great movement of birds we are seeing, we will open the banding station tomorrow , 9/13.  Come on out if you can before work or call in sick for the morning (I won’t tell anyone!).

We open our mist nets at 6am and close them at about 11am.  Visit us at Rushton Woods Preserve and Farm anytime within those hours!  Our normal days of operation are Tuesdays and Thursdays from now until the migration stops in early November.   Visitors are always welcome.  Please contact Lisa Kiziuk  ( or myself Blake Goll ( for more information or to reserve a day for your school group or other large group.

Stay tuned to the blog for updates throughout this fall and more photos of our beautiful migrants.

There’s a lot going on in the woods,


P.S.  The Mid-Atlantic Young Birder Conference is this Saturday at the lovely Ashland Nature Center in Hockessin, DE!  Coordinated by the American Birding Association, the day will be full of memorable birding experiences, educational talks from experts and comaraderie among fellow Young Birders of all experience levels.  Click here for more information and to register (just $25)!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Rick Keyser says:

    I can say that Friday morning did show a wonderful migrant fallout at Rushton Farms, including a Redstart snatching a flying insect only a few feet from the blog author’s golden hair!

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