Budding leaves welcome songbirds
Updated: Jul 31, 2020
As the buds split and the tree leaves unfurl, tiny caterpillars and other invertebrates hatch out to feed on the new growth. Migrating songbirds (many millions of them) time their travels to follow this flush of fresh protein-energy. I've been hearing blue-headed vireos for nearly a month, and yesterday I heard the first black-throated green warblers of the year. In another week or two, I'll be overwhelmed by the ca
cophony of birdsong in the woods.
One of the great pleasures I've had the past few springs is learning the sounds of migrating songbirds. It's a stretch for me. Visual identification comes naturally to me, and I've always had a knack for spotting things, but my tone deafness makes birdsong challenging. I've been fortunate to learn from birders who have attended my plant walks, and now I fumble around with the Merlin app (Cornell ornithology), continuing my education. I'm especially excited because two of those birders will be attending both of my upcoming wildflower walks. We'll get to look at ephemerals AND listen for warblers.