Fall has arrived, which means 20 billion birds are burning through the night sky with the big dipper at their backs as they navigate the stars on their way to the tropics. As you lie cozy in your bed, think of a tiny warbler —weighing no more than a third of an ounce —flying 200 miles by the time the sun comes up. These amazing animals can accomplish such feats by cover of darkness because the nocturnal atmosphere is cooler and more stable, thus preventing against overheating and unnecessary energy expenditure. Flying by night also allows songbirds to avoid diurnal birds of prey like hawks. In addition, night commuting gives small birds, like American redstarts that must replenish diminutive fat reserves often, the opportunity for daytime foraging in stopover sites. Finding a suitable stopover site can mean the difference between life or death for an exhausted migrant.
Speaking of great stopover sites, our bird banding station at our bird friendly Rushton Farm is open for “birdness”!
All are welcome to observe banding every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 6-10:30 AM, weather permitting, from now through the first week of November. Bird banding enables us to understand species diversity, abundance, population changes, habitat use and stopover ecology at Rushton.
In addition, this Saturday 9/17 we will be holding our annual Songbird Banding Open House from 6-11 AM. All ages are welcome. WCT Junior Birding Club members are encouraged to bring a friend! Come out to enjoy the stunning beauty of these neotropical migrants and learn about bird conservation.
Rushton Woods Preserve and Farm is located at 911 Delchester Road, Newtown Square, PA.
There’s a lot going on in the woods,