Well, breeding season has arrived for the birds of Bethel Springs! Although there are still a few species trickling through in migration, the vast majority of birds on the trail are here to stay. Lots of species have already been breeding such as Barn Swallow, House Finch, Eastern Bluebird, Tree Swallow, and House Wren. Also, there are a few species that are more than likely nesting on the trail, but I am still trying to confirm for sure.
My most exciting suspicion of nesting comes from the Indigo Bunting, which was the 100th species of bird I observed on the trail. I have seen a male bird in the same spot singing from the tree top over the last three weeks. Seems like it's being territorial, and if it's being territorial, it's doing so because it's on a nest. The real challenge now is finding that nest or observing other breeding behavior such as carrying food. Birds usually eat their food immediately, so when you see a bird hanging onto food and flying with it, that is a sign that it's bringing food to a nest and confirms breeding.
Today yielded 19 species, but during migration, I've had lists as high as 45 species! Now that migration is pretty much over, the species totals will be down until birds are passing through again in fall migration. From here on out, I will more than likely be observing many of the same individual birds from week to week. Although that might not sound as thrilling as birding during a migration season, this time of year offers the opportunity to learn more about our resident species. Through studying our residents, we can learn more about their behavior and think about how we can best manage the natural resources of the trail to support successful nesting!
Bethel Springs E.S.--Nature Trail Jun 2, 2017 7:19 AM Traveling 0.25 miles 35 Minutes All birds reported? Yes Comments: Warm, sunny morning on the trail with temps in the mid 60s. With field day being today, one can feel the energy getting ready to burst throughout the campus! Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.5.0 Build 136 3 Mourning Dove 1 Northern Flicker 2 Blue Jay 1 American Crow 1 Tufted Titmouse 2 House Wren 5 American Robin 6 Gray Catbird 2 Northern Mockingbird 3 European Starling 2 Cedar Waxwing 2 Common Yellowthroat 2 Chipping Sparrow 1 Song Sparrow 1 Northern Cardinal 1 Indigo Bunting 2 Brown-headed Cowbird 2 House Finch 1 American Goldfinch