The Cornell Lab Bird Academy Discussion Groups Joy of Birdwatching Activities: Different Seasons, Different Birds

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    • Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      Bird_Academy
      Share your experience participating in this lesson's activities. Comment on as many or as few activities as you'd like.
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    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 40
      suzukiawd13
      ACTIVITY 4 - There is a birding spot, in Beverly Ma.. that I have found to be reliable. It is by the McDonalds' and Starbucks, on rte. 62. I have routinely seen Snowy Egrets, and Cormorants, as well as Ducks and Seagulls. It is a very reliable spot, and convenient, to photograph birds. They (the birds) seem to like the inlet, connected to the ocean. As well as the fish, and foraging rewards, in the water. I have never, not seen birds there, in the summer months. Also, Egrets, and Herons, are tough to find. But this place, always seems to have a Snowy Egret, and a few ducks. I have a picture of a Snowy Egret, and a Duck, from the shore. On the sidewalk, near the rocky beach. It is a great location for Wading-HERON DUCKBirds/Waterfowl/Seabirds. From May, until Winter.            SAMPLE ABOVE.
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 40
      suzukiawd13
      Activity 3 - The American Goldfinch, has a more colorful summer plumage, when compared to its' winter plumage. There is a crest type marking, on the crown, of the bird. It is an arrow shaped black mark. It also gives the illusion of a crest, but I do not think it sticks out at all. Not like a Titmouse. The belly, rump, and back of the bird, in the summer, has distinct yellow. But in the winter, it has dull yellow, light brown, markings. Also, in the winter, the black arrow shape, recedes.  The winter plumage retains a little pure yellow, under the beak. But not nearly as much as in the summer. I have a photo of an A.G. in the summer of 2020. Massachusetts.   A Common Loon, in the Summer, has checkered diamond patterns, on its' edge of the rump. And on its' shoulder. And on its' wings. Star type speckles, and A dark black head, and darker fine feathers, on its' head. Also, a 'necktie,' mark in its' neck. The Winter Common Loon, is plainer, with a white neck and belly color, and no 'ladder,' markings. Nor patterns. The dark black areas, seem to exchange1st can. color, into a dark grey. And there is no distinct, 'necktie.' Just a void in that area. Not as finely outlined.
    • Kyle
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      milbrand77
      Activity 1 - I was interested in seeing the most likely time to see birds in Pennsylvania.  Many I noticed simply pass through during migration, but it was cool to see some breed in our area and others that are here in the Mid-Atlantic states all year. I also found it interesting that some birds migrate in different routes, while most seem to fly North and South on the same route.  I noticed one bird that flew up the West coast on it's way north, but came back through the mountains when it returned after breeding. Finally, I liked how you could see cool feats using the animation.  One bird flew up through Mexico, but then seemed to disappear.  Suddenly the migration appeared in the southern US.  You can notice how it flew directly over the Caribbean.
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 40
      suzukiawd13
      Activity 2 - I would guess, the 3 birds that are permanent residents of the N.East, or at least migrate when, and if they want to. And short distances. Would be the Blue Jay, Northern Cardinal, and a Swan. I have seen each of these three, in winter months. And they may migrate, at their whim, shorter distances. Also a Chickadee, or a Junco. I have seen in snowy settings, and in winter months. I wonder, If they travel, a few states south, in a horrid winter. Or if they can stay,in the N.East, even in a deep freeze.   A Red-Winged Blackbird, a Canada Goose, and an Ibis/Heron, or Crane order bird. I would guess, are migratory. I have read that RWB's, migrate at night, as the cold season hits. I have also seen so many Canada Geese fly south, in their arrow formation. That, we can all assume,3131-13bjay L means that they migrate. And are partial seasonal residents, depending on the region/area. I would assume, that any Ibis/Crane order bird, would migrate to a Southern climate. I do not think a GBH, does better in the cold, than near, or past the south, the MASON DIXON LINE, area. However, some are called, 'SNOWY-EGRETS.' Is that because they can handle the snow, or is it an artistic name, for their white color. I have seen, in the Cornell maps, that Raptors and Terns, migrate through the N.EAST, and past the N.EAST. from North of the USA, and they go down to the south. I think they are decision migrants. Because, they are seen in all areas, in all seasons ? Are there Ospreys in CANADA and GEORGIA, in January, at the same time ? I dunno ?
    • JackBird21
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      TBMachine
      Activity 4: My favorite birding spot is Plum Island.  I expect to find Snowy Owls, Northern Harrier, Cardinals, American Black Ducks, Pintails, Red-throated Loons, White-winged & Black Scoters, and Buffleheads. But six months from now, will be May of 2021 and the Warbler migration will just be beginning so we'll see Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warblers, Baltimore Orioles, Eastern Towhees, House Finches and Goldfinches !
    • JackBird21
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      TBMachine
      Activity 3 - When I go to the Macaulay Library and study the plumage difference of the Male American Goldfinches in summer and winter, it is apparent that the Summer Male has striking Gold-Yellow coloring !  When I study the Winter plumage, legs, bill and wings are the same, but instead of the striking Yellow- Gold colors, this bird is more tawny and blends in with the back better ! _____________________________________________________________________________ When I go to the Macaulay Library and study the plumage difference of the Male Common Loon in summer and winter, it is apparent that the Summer Male has a strikingly, contrast black and white plumgae with a horizontal, black colored necklace across its throat.  When I study the Winter plumage, the colors are a much more subdued gray and sometimes brownish color that contrasts the white belly, and the horizontal necklace band has disappeared all together !
    • JackBird21
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      TBMachine
      Using Merlin’s “Likely Birds” feature I choose three species that live here year-round in the Northeast.  As I live close to the coast, Mallards, Ring-billed Gulls and Common Eider are residents for is that we see each day we head out to Plum Island !  Bufflehead, Snow Bunting and Horned Grebe are here now (November) but we only get to enjoy them for part of the year. I like that Merlin shows so quickly the birds that we are likely to see, as well as showing when they will most likely arrive and depart.  I use Merlin every day that I bird and it is so informative and easy to use !
    • JackBird21
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      TBMachine
      The Yellow-bellied Flycatcher has an interesting migration pattern !  From observing the Range Map, this species spends over 7.5 months of the year Wintering in Central America.  All at once this species quickly migrates North, but flying West of the Gulf of Mexico- up through the Mid-western States - across to the Northeast and Central regions of Canada.  It appears that they complete this Northward migration in less than 2 weeks !  They then appear to spend about 2 months at the breeding grounds in Canada, before they start a fast Southern migration by returning to Central America !  They spend the most months of the year in Central America ... make a swift North and Northeast migration into Canada ... quickly get their successful breeding done ... and rapidly descend across the USA back into Central America.  It is not quite clear from the Range Map, but I believe many of these Y-B Flycatchers return to Central America by flying West of the Gulf of Mexico, while others make the non-stop cross Gulf of Mexico flight from Louisanna !  This is an amazing migration !
    • JackBird21
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      TBMachine
      The Sandhill Crane has a very interesting and different migration pattern from other birds.  This Crane Winters in three areas, Texas, Florida and South of the Great Lakes of the USA.  After observing the Range Map, each of these 3 groups appear to migrate differently  The group that Winters in Texas migrates North through the Mid-Western US States, into Canada and some head West to Alaska while others appear to go all the way to the Artic for the breeding season !  The second group Winters South of the Great Lakes and appears to split their group up, with some migrating in a Northwesterly direction while the other half of the group appears to migrate in a Northeasterly direction into Canada.  This second group migrates a great distance, but much less than Group 1.  Then we have the 3rd Group that Winters in Florida.  Some, but much less than half of this group, migrate North to the Great Lakes and meet up with Group 2 to head to the Canada breeding grounds.  When Group 2 migrates back South, the members of Group 3 travel with them, but it appears that they return all the way to Florida, while the original Group 2 members stop when they reach the area just South of the Great Lakes !  I wonder why some of this species (Group 2) prefer to Winter in the cold weather just South of the Great Lakes while the other two Groups (1 & 3) migrate all the way South to the warm temperatures of Texas and Florida / and why does Group 1 travel so far North to Alaska and perhaps the Artic to breed, when it is apparent that many of Group 3 never leave Florida - so they breed there ?
    • JackBird21
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      TBMachine
      The Rufous Hummingbird Winters for 5 to 6 months in Central America.  It makes a Western migration up into the USA along the California Coast all the way up into Canada.  It does not spend a great deal of time in the breeding grounds, before it migrates swiftly South and they fly West of the Rockies and all the way back to Central America.  Most of this species makes the entire migration from South to North back to South !
    • JackBird21
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      TBMachine
      The Ruby-throated Humminbird Winters in Central America and Florida for 5 months of the year.  They make a fast moving Northward migration across the Gulf of Mexico and land in the Southern USA.  From there, they spread out as far as the East Coast and rapidly move all the way to Canada and they spend 4 months breeding, and Summering in the North.  From there they make rapid reverse migration along the same routes all the way back to Central America.   _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The Rufous
    • JackBird21
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      TBMachine
      The Scarlet Tanager Winters in South America for several of the Winter months of the year.  They then rapidly head North West into Central America, where they they fly across the Gulf of Mexico and land in the Southern USA, East of Texas.  They then continue to speed Northward towards Northern USA and Canada where they Summer (breeding) for a three months.  Then by September 1 they reverse their migration routes and close the distance back to Central America and then down into South America very quickly.  I wonder why they travel so far and why they are traveling so fast to reach the two final destinations of the Northern breeding grounds and the Southern Wintering grounds ? Why fly so far and take so much risk ?  Food ?  Temperature ?  What's the hurry ? The Western Tanager Winters for 5 months of the year in Western Central America.  It begins its very quick migration right after April 1st by   flying along the West Coast of Central America, along the California Coast and West of the Rocky Mountains and up into Canada to breed.  They spend only a few weeks in Northwestern USA and Canada (breeding) and then return swiftly to Central America by reversing their route.  It appears from the migration map that many of the Western Tanager only migrate 1/3 of the way, breeding (in New Mexico) and then returning to Central America.  How come many of these Tanagers fly all the way to Canada while others fly a much shorter distance, maybe not even North of Central America or just over the border in the USA ?  I think that the Western Tanager must be an efficient breeding species as it spends only a few weeks breeding !  Wow  !
    • JackBird21
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      TBMachine
      Activity # 1 - I observed that the Northern Cardinal has a much bigger migration range, East of the Mississippi. Filling the coast of the USA, north and south. The Blackburnian Warbler stays in South America for most of the early part of the year, and then they have remarkably fast migrations through the USA, as they quickly head North into Canada.  The Blackburnian doesnt even hang around long during the mating season, as they then quickly fly through the USA and reside in South America again for the Winter !
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 40
      suzukiawd13
      ACTIVITY 1 - the Northern Cardinal is ranged more, East of the Mississippi. Filling the coast of the USA, north and south. I have heard that the 'pyrrhuloxia,' a relative of the Cardinal, is West of the Mississippi. The Blackburnian Warbler is ranged, in its' general, yearly abundance, further north, and further south. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Scarlet Tanager, has Northern population, and southern population. As related to the USA and Central America, and Northern-South America. The Western Tanager, is west of the Mississippi, as noted in its' name. And is a different form of Tanager. 31-13The Scarlet T., is red with black wings. The Western T., has yellowish colors, and more markings. Not as solid in coloring. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Ruby Throated Hummingbird is an East of the Mississippi-bird, in general population. The Rufous Hummingbird is west and south of the Mississippi. I would assume less population in northern areas, due to the need of flowers to feed from.  Are Hummingbirds migrating more south than other birds ? Sooner ? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The SandHill Crane, has a scattered population, in its' year round sum of population. The Yellow Bellied FlyCatcher is scattered NE/and South-USA. With some gaps in the USA SE. PICTURE IS A 'MALE NORTHERN CARDINAL.' NE/USA/MASSACHUSETTS
    • Isabel
      Participant
      Chirps: 30
      IsabelTroyo
      Summer Tanager MigrantBaltimore Oriole MigrantThe Summer Tanager is a common migrant in Costa Rica from mid-Sept to late April. I saw this molting bird  on 21 March 2020 near my home and the local Birdwatching group help me with ID. The Baltimore Oriole is another migrant from early Sep. to early May and I saw him on 08 November 2020. I found both on my field guide, too.
    • Isabel
      Participant
      Chirps: 30
      IsabelTroyo
      Great-tailed Grackle ResidentForrajendo 3 Rufous collared Sparrow residentThe Rufous Collared Sparrow and the Great-tailed Grackle are year-round residents in Costa Rica.  
    • Aiden
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      afwinsor
      Activity 1:   Northern Cardinal with Blackburnian Warbler: Northern Cardinal has a fairly consistent range throughout the seasons, only fluctuating slightly at the fringes of it's range. The Blackburnian Warbler migrates widely, from having a fairly dense population in Central America to being somewhat more spread out on it's northern migration up to roughly the great lakes, where it's population is once again denser. It then migrates southwards, but takes a different path than it initially did, going over the Caribbean. Scarlet Tanager with Western Tanager: The Scarlet Tanager has a roughly similar migration path to the Blackburnian Warbler, with the differences that it starts further south in South America and has a somewhat more southern distribution once it reaches the north eastern United States. As mentioned, it's migration is similar to the Blackburnian Warbler in that it migrates northwards through Central America and Mexico and southwards over the Caribbean. Ruby-throated Hummingbird with Rufous Hummingbird: The Ruby-throated Hummingbird winters in Central America and migrates northwards largely over the Gulf of Mexico to the eastern United States and south eastern Canada, as well as a band into the Canadian Prairies, and it appears to have a southern migration that is more over land, but may still be over the Gulf of Mexico for some birds. The Rufous Hummingbird winters in Mexico, then migrates north along the pacific coast to British Columbia, before migrating south more inland on it's southwards trip back to Mexico. Sandhill Crane with Yellow-bellied Flycatcher: The Sandhill Crane has a general northwards spring migration and a southwards winter one, but it looks somewhat messy. There appear to be a few populations across the United States in the winter, and in the summer they appear to fan out all over Canada and some parts of the United States. The Yellow-bellied Flycatcher has a somewhat more clear-cut migration, traveling from it's wintering grounds in Central America to several regions in Canada over land for some individuals and over the Gulf of Mexico for others. These summer regions across Canada include the southeast as well as a band across northern British Columbia and Alberta, most of the Yukon and some of Alaska. A few general things that I noticed are the importance of the Gulf of Mexico, as many birds need to choose whether to fly over of around it, and how the locations of birds are much more flexible and less defined than standard range maps may indicate. It is also amazing to think that many of the birds that we may watch have come from another continent, and will be going back there.   Activity 2:   Three birds that we have year-round are the Canada Goose, Evening Grosbeak, and Dark-eyed Junco. I have seen both Canada Geese and Dark-eyed Juncos, although I thought that Canada Geese were migratory. Looking at the Abundance Animation for Canada Goose, they are migratory, but where I live we always appear to have some. I haven't seen an Evening Grosbeak, although they look like beautiful beautiful birds and I would love to see them someday. Three birds that we have for part of the year are the Blue Jay, Barrow's Goldeneye and Ruby-crowned Kinglet. I didn't think that we had Blue Jays here other than occasional stray individuals. While it doesn't look like there are ever many, there appears to be a few at some points in the year. Not really knowing anything about ducks, I didn't know that we have Barrow's Goldeneyes from Mid-September to Mid-June. I knew what Ruby-Crowned Kinglets were, but didn't know that they were migratory.   Activity 3:  
      • Male American Goldfinch: The summer plumage is a very bright yellow for most of the body, with a black crown, and black and  white wings and tail. In the winter, the black crown turns brown, the head remains yellow, and the rest of the yellow turns brown. As can be expected, the breeding plumage is much fancier and arguably more beautiful than the non-breeding plumage.
      • Common Loon: In breeding plumage, a beautiful bird with white spots on black wings, a black head, and a black-ish coloured bar around the neck. This bar looks somewhat greenish. In non-breeding plumage, the bird white spots on the wings mostly disappear, and the definition between the white and black areas on the bird look less defined. The front of the neck becomes a clear white, and the black on the head recedes somewhat. As with the Goldfinch, the non-breeding plumage is predictably less stunning than the breeding plumage.
        Activity 4:   I have a few birding spots that I often go to, but one that is always nice is a pond next to a golf course that is often teeming with ducks, and often has a swan or two. Looking at the eBird hotspot for the location, the reasons for the swans being there is that they are captive. I was there a few days ago, and there were quite a number of Mallards, the swans, and a number of Buffleheads. According to eBird, in April (6 months from the time of writing this, I can expect to see a long list of birds, including Ruby-crowned Kinglets, American Wigeons, Hooded Mergansers, Wood Ducks, and many more in the pond and surrounding area.
    • Devin
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Devin66
      Activity 1: Northern Cardinals don't appear to migrate. They pretty much stay in the same region east of the Rocky Mountains all year long. The Blackburnian Warbler, however, migrates between northern South America in the winter, all the way up to northeastern US and into Canada for the summer. The Scarlet Tanager also migrates between South America and the eastern US. The Western Tanager migrates between Central America and western North America. It's interesting to see that some species stick strictly to either the eastern or western part of the continent. Sandhill Cranes, on the other hand are spread out all over North America, depending on the time of year. Activity 2: Some species that are found year-round in the part of Utah where I live, and that I have seen, are the Norther Harrier, American Kestrel, and Norther Flicker. Some species that only appear part of the year are the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Barn Swallow, and Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Activity 3: Male American Goldfinches appear brightly colored in summer, whereas in winter they become more drab. The hood of the Common Loon in summer is completely black. In winter, the hood appears more mottled gray. Activity 4: At my favorite birding spot I expect to see a lot of Mallards, maybe some Canada Geese, and some Norther Flickers. These are year-round residents, so I expect to see them again in six months. It's getting towards the end of the season to see hummingbirds, but six months from now I expect to see some Ruby-throated Hummingbirds again. My new favorite bird is the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. It will be leaving the area to migrate south, but I expect to see it again in six months.
    • Jo Anne
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      joannetpt
      Activity 1: Visit eBird Status and Trends to watch some animated range maps and see migration in action. Compare: Northern Cardinal with Blackburnian Warbler Cardinal remains about the same all year. Primarily whole Eastern US, some along the coasts of Mexico. Blackburnian Warbler winters along the northern coast of South America along the Gulf, migrates to Southern Canada to mate. Scarlet Tanager with Western Tanager Scarlet Tanager winters in NW South America, migrates across the Gulf to LA, MS, AL, FL to Eastern US and Eastern Canada Western Tanager summers in western/north USA and winters on west coast and further south than Tanager Ruby-throated Hummingbird with Rufous Hummingbird Ruby-throated summers all over Eastern US into Canada, winters in southern Mexico and Central America Rufous summers Western US, winters in Mexico Sandhill Crane with Yellow-bellied Flycatcher Sandhill Crane summers in northern USA, some central and western and up into Canada and Alaska in certain locations Yellow-bellied Flycatcher summers mostly in Eastern Canada. It looks like it must fly long distances without landing in southern US, winters in Central America What stands out to you about them? What patterns do you notice? Does anything surprise you? Share your observations in the discussion. Activity 2: Year-Round - Canada Goose - Yes, have seen before. Some do head further south in winter. I have seen them in CT in ponds in the winter that do not entirely freeze. Wild Turkey. These are commonly seen in yards and near the roads. Can be seen up in apple trees in the fall. Mourning Dove - These are seen and heard commonly in northern Vermont. I do not see them in the winter, but the maps show that they are in Vermont year round. Great Blue Heron - Yes, have seen. The Merlin map and graph show them in Vermont year round, but they feed in shallow water. There must be some shallow water in Vermont that does not freeze over. Part of the year -  Snow Goose - yes, have seen in the thousands only during migration at the Missiquoi NWR at the north end of Lake Champlain and Dead Creek WMA in Addison County. Their numbers have become so large that Vermont has a hunting season for them. But thousands of people flock to the viewing locations during migration. Eastern Phoebe - yes, I have seen these at my bird feeder in spring and summer. They migrate further south in winter. Hermit Thrush - my favorite bird in the woods behind my house in the spring and summer. They migrate further south in the winter. Activity 3: Compare pictures in Macaulay Library of birds in different plumages during different seasons: Male American Goldfinches in summer and winter Summer - Brilliant yellow, black and white. Winter - dull greenish yellow, black & white Common Loons in summer and winter Summer - distinct black and white coloration. Distinct necklace. Winter - dull black, brownish, some white. Necklace is gone. For each species, what differences and similarities do you notice in their color and pattern? Share your observations in the discussion.
    • Jessica
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      jessbird22660
      Northern Cardinal:  I noticed that it stays relatively stable and does not migrate very far.  There is also an abundance of Cardinals!  In regard to the Blackburnian Warbler they have a distinct migration pattern of flying south for the winter and spend their summers in Canada. The Scarlet Tanager and the Western Tanager are different in that the Scarlet Tanager mainly migrates up and down the East coast while the Western Tanager migrates up and down the West coast. Wow, there is an abundance of Ruby Throated Hummingbirds!  They migrate up north in April and migrate south in September/October.  There is not as much of an abundance of Rufous Hummingbirds and they migrate south a little earlier than the Ruby Throated Hummingbird (Aug-September). The Sandhill Crane has a very long migration up to Alaska.  The Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher appears to follow a very strict path and are less widespread.   Three species that are year-round residents:  Northern Cardinal, White-Breasted Nuthatch, and Chipping Sparrow.  The Dark-Eyed Junco is only here in the winter and I will be seeing them at my feeders soon!!  The Wood Thrush is only here during the summer and this elusive bird is mostly heard and not seen.  The Cedar Waxwing is not a year-round resident and should be spotted soon as they migrate to this area around this time of year (Sept-Oct).  Last year, we had a small group of them hanging out in a tree. The American Goldfinch has much brighter plumage in the summer and takes on a more brown-ish color in the winter.  Wow!  The differences between the summer Common Loon and the winter Common Loon were drastic.  Their teal band around the neck disappears in the winter along with the outline of their plumage.  The darkness around their face also fades. My favorite birding spot is just around my neighborhood.  Right now I expect to find Chipping Sparrows, Tufted Titmice, Black-capped Chickadees, Northern Flickers, White-Breasted Nuthatches.  In six months it will be April so I would expect to see Eastern Phoebes.  Purple Martins will also be returning in six months as well as the Ruby Throated Hummingbirds.
    • Jon
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      jekielty
      Activity 4 - My favorite birding spot is Central Park here in NYC, more specifically The Ramble. Over the last few weeks the birds I see continue to change. Right now I am seeing less warblers than I saw just a week ago. This week we started to see Ruby and Golden Crwoned Kinglets. We are starting to see more varieties of sparrows as well. Over the next few weeks this will continue to change as many of these species are migratory and are just stopping by briefly on their way south. 6 Months from now will be spring migration in which we'll then again see a lot of the same species. However in a couple months from now we'll only see the birds that stick around through the winter such as Cardinals, Blue Jays, Sparrows, and waterfowl.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      susan.petersen1
      Activity Three: Goldfinches frequent my finch feeder, so I've had the pleasure of watching their brilliant yellow plumage dull in the course of the fall months. I haven't seen any loons this year (not been around water enough I guess), good to know. And it looks like the Common Loon is not that common in Western PA. The summer plumage in both birds is more brilliant. The male is the more brilliant in the gold finches, but the common loon adults male and female seem to be the same.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      susan.petersen1
      Activity Two: Most of the birds I can easily identify are year round residents: the Great Blue Herron, Wild Turkey, Turkey Vulture, Blue Jay, Crow. Bird that I have seen that are only frequent in the warmer months include: Ruby throated hummingbird, the Red breasted Grosbeak, the barn swallow. I found one bird, the Common Merganser which is more likely to be found here December - April.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      susan.petersen1
      Activity One The Northern Cardinal's range is nearly the same throughout the year, with just some movement around the edges. The Blackburnian Warbler undertakes a long migration spending the winter months as far south as Peru and the summer as far north as southern Canada. The Scarlet Tanager spends winters as far south as Peru, and summers as far north as Canada. Its' summer range is in eastern North America. The Western Tanager lives on the west coast, summering as far north as the Northwest Territories in Canada, and flying south to winter in Mexico, and as far south as Costa Rica. In summary, the Scarlet Tanager range is on the east, and more southern than the Western Tanager. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the eastern hummingbird, range from southern Canada in the summer to as far south as Costa Rica in the winter. The Rufous Hummingbird is a western bird, ranging from as far north as the edge of the Yukon in summer to as far south as Mexico in the winter. These two hummingbirds overlap in Mexico in the Winter. In all three of these pairs, the western birds' migration is within a narrower band, west of the Rockies, and extends further north, but less far south as the eastern birds. The Sandhill Crane abundance map is much patchier than the Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher. It is abundant year round in Florida, but in breeding season spreads as far north as Alaska. In non-breeding season it is concentrated in a few patches. The southern range only extends as far as south as barely into Mexico. The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is the one of these eight birds that spends time in Cuba! Its' breeding range, like the Sandhill Crane, extends north and as far west as the Yukon during breeding season. There is a wealth of information in these maps, this is just scratching the surface with the roughest of observations.
    • Allison
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      AKirchner1979
      I enjoyed all of the activities.  I have had an active feeding station in our back yard (in Virginia) since January of this year but have only recently begun trying to locate and identify birds in the wild. It is so much harder!  Activity 1:  Watching the migration maps was fascinating.  I paid special attention to the map for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, noting the dark purple in August that quickly moved south after that.  We have now (9/26/2020) been two days with no sightings at our hummingbird feeders.  Activity 2:  Since this is my first year with feeders, I am thrilled to see how many of my favorites will be here all year -- Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Bluebird, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Northern Cardinal and more!  Some of the birds here part-year only are ones where I am trying to confirm a sighting.  I think I saw a Chimney Swift fly over one day while swimming, and I may have seen a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher and an Eastern Wood Pewee this month in a park along the river.  The gnatcatchers are leaving the area very soon, so I'd better get back to the park if I want to see one this year.  Activity 3:  We've enjoyed watching the goldfinches and house finches with their changing plumage.  Often I'll think I am seeing a new bird only to realize it is a finch after all.  Some of the juveniles were so fluffy that they looked larger than they parents, and a recent male American Goldfinch had a very delicate, pale yellowish-gray chest in a different hue than I'd seen before.  Handsome!  Activity 4:  At our feeders, we are hoping to see some birds during the fall migration that we haven't seen since the spring migration, like the Rose-breasted Grosbeak.  At the riverfront park, there is a good chance I could spot a Great Blue Heron and Belted Kingfisher this time of year since there are other sightings reports on eBird.  It looks like a variety of warblers pass through the area in mid-September to mid-October, and the Yellow-rumped Warbler seems to hang around for longer.  That would be a fun sighting!  Six months from now, I'll have a better chance of spotting the Mallards and the Grackles should be coming back.
    • diamond
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      diamonddoom
      Activity 1 The St. Louis Cardinals seems all the more appropriate. I also noticed that I should be seeing Western Tanagers, but I haven't seen one.   Activity 2 I can't do because I can't create a Merlin account. I've reached out to Merlin help a couple times over the past few weeks. Hoping to get that fixed. They aren't sending me a confirmation email.   Activity 3 I love the dulled colors of Winter!   Activity 4 Because we're on fire in California and not supposed to go outside, my favorite birding spot is my only birding spot. The dining room table with a view of the Blade Runner orange skies.
    • Lou Anne
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      hostetlerl
      Act 1: northern cardinal live here year round vs blakcburnian warbler Is migratory. Scarlet tanager breeding season here then in South America vs Western tanager slices only in the west. Ruby throated hummingbird says only her June to July but here now and Rufous hummingbird is only in the west.  Sandhill cranes year round here and all over the US vs yellow bellied flycatcher is migratory. Act two.  Three yr round are cedar waxwing, common grackle, great horned owl.  I haven't seen a great horned owl in the wild.  Three part year are canvas backs for migration, redhead migration, and cliff swallow. I haven't seen a cliff swallow or a canvasback.  The great horned owl lives year round all over the US. act three. Male goldfinches are a bright yellow in the summer and brown  in the winter.commom loon in summer is broad black head and neck with greenish,purplish, or bluish sheen. In winter it is dark gray above with white breast, belly, and wing linings. act four. I find northern cardinals, ruby throated hummingbirds, American robins, american goldfinches, and bluebirds, and turkey vultures now.  Later I will find white throated sparrows, white crowned sparrows, dark eyed juncos, maybe a snowy owl.
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Tanagerlover
      Activity 1: The Western Tanager starts migration in Mexico. It stays along the West Coast and travels upwards into Canada. It returns along the same path. The Scarlett Tanager starts further south in South America and then travels up the East Coast and just up to a small part of Canada. The return path is the same. I love the Western Tanager as they migrate thru north Los Angeles where I live. I am eagerly anticipating seeing some during the fall migration. It's one of the more beautiful birds that i have seen in the Southern California.
    • Mark
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      markraby
      Activity 1: While each of these birds inhabit the same forests throughout some of the year, their migration route during other times of the year differ in often extreme ways. Activity 2: A.) Three birds that are in my region all year are Trumpeter Swans, Herring Gulls and Blue Jays. Trumpeter Swans are common near a pond at a local conservation area, so I've seen them lots. Herring Gulls I've always dismissed as a Seagulls and it wasn't until I downloaded Merlin Bird ID there are different species like the Ring-billed Gull. Blue Jays I encounter year round. B.) Three birds that are in my region sporadically are Black-Bellied Plovers, Killdeer and Solitary Sandpipers. Black-bellied Plovers and Killdeer are listed as uncommon but the Solitary Sandpiper is listed as rare. I've chosen all shorebirds because quite honestly even though I live on the shores of a river, I seldom seem to spot shorebirds in the field. I haven't seen any of these birds. Was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for where I should be searching for shorebirds? On the shores I'm assuming? lol.
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Christin3
      Activity 3: male Am.Goldfinch in summer vs winter: In summer...bright yellow very black crown and wings, white wing bar and rump, orange beak. Winter looks almost olive gray like summer female, grayer overall, dusky beak, less yellow on breast, black wings and tail still with white bars on tail . Black crown gone-- now lighter olive with some black spots on the forehead. Common Loon summer: all black head with bright red eye, black bill, very contrasty black and white patterns on neck, chest and back, vibrant greenish teal neck collar. Winter: white on face neck and chest. Only a part band of black for a collar not all the way around. Bill is grayish. Back pattern more subtle brown/black, subdued, eye is darker, not vibrant red.
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Christin3
      Activity 2: Three year round birds in the greater MPLS/St. Paul área of MN até: Crows, Cedar Waxwings ( in the Twin Cities area anyway) and White-breasted Nuthatches. Turkey Vultures are in my area from April to Oct. Same for Tree Swallows. The Eastern Meadowlark only come up to the middle of the state and are here from about March to September. I have seen Cedar Waxwings, White-breasted Nuthatches, Turkey Vultures and Tree Swallows, and have a murder of Crows outside my apartment window.  I'm not sure if I have seen an Eastern Meadowlark.
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Christin3
      Activity 1: the Northern Cardinal barely moves within the US. While  the Blackburnian Warbler migrates from S. Am. To Canada and back. Scarlet Tanager goes from western S and central Am to the Eastern Half of the US. While the Western Tanager goes from west Central Am to Western Us and western Canada. Ruby-throated Hummingbird goes from Central Am to the Eastern Half of the US up into Canada. While the Rufous Hummingbird is in a small area of western Mexico and goes up a western strip of the western US and Canada. But the reverse migration covers most of the Rocky My states and more of Mexico. Sandhill Cranes: some always stay in Florida year-round. And a little along the center in California. But most are in TX OK and Ohio River Valley and then move straight north in the Midwest and Great Lakes area  into N Alaska and northern Canada  and around Hudson Bay. The go back mostly through the center of the US. Yellow-bellied Flycatchers go from Central Am and the Eastern Half of the US and from there high into central Canada up almost to Alaska but miss most of west Central Canada. On the way back they go along the east side of Mexico to Central Am.
    • Kenton
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Kmakings133
      The Scarlet Tanager began its migration in South America in the month of January. It went through parts of Central America. It went to the east coast of North America and tiny parts of Canada. Then, it started the process again. The Western Tanager began its migration in Mexico in the month of January. It went through the West Coast of North America and parts of Manitoba and British Columbia in Canada. It descended back down to begin the process again.
    • wendy
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      wsummers76
      Activity 4: along Cayuga lake I would expect to see fewer birds in February than August. There would be different types of waterfowl with some of the ones that migrate from northern areas. Otherwise mostly the smaller birds and raptors which don’t migrate.
    • wendy
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      wsummers76
      Activity 3: male goldfinches more colorful and darker yellow in summer and more subdued in winter. Common loons have checkerboard back in breeding season and bronzer back with less pattern in winter.
    • wendy
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      wsummers76
      Activity 1: northern cardinal found commonly central to east coast vs blackburnian warbler which migrates to s America. Scarlet tanager breedsin eastern US vs western tanager which, like its name ranges from western US to Central America. Ruby throated hummingbird ranges from eastern US to Central America vs rufous hummingbird which ranges in eastern US to Central America.Sandhill cranesrange more through central US to Alaska Vs yellow bellied flycatcher which Is in eastern US and looks on the map that it migrates over the Gulf of Mexico to Central America.
    • Meg
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      BigYear4ML
      Activity 3: I compared photos of the American Goldfinch in summer and winter, and the difference in color is remarkable. I am truly enjoying this course because I am new to the birding world, and I wasn't even aware that plumage color can change with the season (breeding/non-breeding).  I'm always happy when I learn something new!
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      tortorello
      Activity 2: Using Merlin’s “Likely Birds” feature and/or range maps in field guides, explore birds that are found in your area. Choose three species that are year-round residents, and three that only live in your area for part of the year. Have you seen any of them before? Share what you find in the discussion. Birds are listed in the same category in Merlin can have different ranges through the year.  For example, in our Midwestern location: -       The House Wren is here Apr-Nov, whereas the Carolina Wren can be found year-round, although in lower numbers. -       The Cardinal is present throughout the year in high numbers, while the Indigo Bunting, also in high numbers, is here only Apr - Oct. -       The Red-winged Blackbird can be found year-round, although much less commonly Dec-Feb, while the Baltimore Oriole is here mostly only in May-Sept. Both are present in high numbers when they are here. I have often seen Cardinals and Red-winged Blackbirds;  but do not believe I have ever seen an Indigo Bunting or Baltimore Oriole here, even though they are present in high numbers when they are here. I cannot confidently say that I have seen the particular types of wrens, because they are too fast for me to identify! Activity 3: Comparing birds in different plumages during different seasons: -       Male American Goldfinch:  In summer is bright yellow with a black cap and black wing and tail feathers with white edges.  In winter the bright yellow has faded and has a brownish-yellow appearance. -       Common Loon: In summer has complex and spectacular color pattern:  black head; black with larger distinctive white spots on body; and black and white stripes on neck to chest, interrupted by dark teal bands on the neck.   In winter the plumage has faded, mostly to soft gray feathers with some white edges or highlights, and a white chest and neck.
    • Yulia
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Koreshok
      Activity 1: I think the idea of this exercise was to notice migratory patterns. Resident (Northern Cardinal) vs migratory (Blackburnian Warbler) birds; east coast (Scarlet Tanager) vs west coast (Western Tanager) migration; same migratory pattern (Ruby-throated Hummingbird) vs clockwise migratory pattern (Rufous Hummingbird); migrations over the landmass (Sandhill Crane) vs migrations over the water mass (Yellow-bellied Flycatcher). Clockwise migratory pattern follows the ‘green wave’. Birds that fly over the water mass have to be well fed and strong to survive a long non-stop journey. I also enjoyed reading thorough migratory rout descriptions that other students have posted. Thank you for that! It helped me replay the migratory movements in my mind. Activity 2: Year-round residents: Oasis Hummingbird, Kelp Gull, Inca Tern. Can be seen only at a certain time of the year: Least Sandpiper, Tricolored Heron, Austral Negrito (haven’t seen this one yet). Activity 3: Male American Goldfinch: summer (Bright yellow color, black cap, red/orange beak); winter (Light-brown color, white belly, no black cap, gray beak). Common Loon: summer (Black-green head, distinctive white pattern on black wings, green neck ring); winter (Brown back side and white belly side, wing pattern is blurry, no green neck ring). In both bird species bright  summer colors and decorations (black cap or green neck ring) disappear in the winter, beak color changes from red to gray (Goldfinches) or from black to gray (Loons). Distinctive summer wing pattern gets blurry in Loons, but it doesn’t change in Goldfinches. Activity 4: I made a list of 45 bird species that I thought I would most likely observe at the river mouth by the beach. From this list I spotted only 24 species. My prediction, based on Merlin ID Chart Bars, is that I’ll be able to see most of the birds from the list in 6 months, except Chilean and Andean Flamingoes, Roseate Spoonbill and Puna Ibis that might be staying in the highlands at that time. But again, I saw only 24 out of 45 this time (I took a lot of pictures and videos to make sure I didn’t miss any bird species). My guess is that I might not see them all in 6 months.
    • Juli
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Juli1321
      When it comes to my favorite birding spot, I have to say the first place that comes to mind is my own backyard. Pertaining to my backyard I covered a bit of this in Activity Number Two. Another favorite birding spots for me is St. Marks Wildlife Refuge. Actually I love it there and yet it is my nemesis because there are so many shore birds and at certain times of the year, ducks. I am still really working on the sandpipers, gulls, and ducks. They can be pretty difficult! The refuge does have multiple habitats so it does have a wide variety of birds there and some fantastic finds turn up there pretty regularly. I have even seen an American Flamingo there. The last time I went, a few weeks ago, I saw a lot of the standard wading birds like Great Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, Tri-color Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Little Green Herons, as well as, some standard marsh inhabitants like Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Gallinule, Purple Gallinule, Double-breasted Cormorants, also all kinds of sandpipers and plovers. Since it is a combination of estuaries, river, and the Gulf of Mexico there is a pretty good variety of bird there at any time of the year. There are always Boat-tailed Grackles, Laughing Gulls, Mourning Doves, and Willets just to name a few. There is also a lot of great trails going through old growth forest with pine and oaks, as well and new pine growth. As far as year-round residents, there are lots of Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Pileated Woodpeckers, Northern Cardinals, Carolina Wrens, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, all of which I saw on my last visit. Right now you can expect to find Yellow-billed Cuckoos but they are not year-round residents. Six months from now we can expect to see a wide variety of ducks like Green-wing Teal, Norther Pintail, Ruddy Duck, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, Canvasback, Redhead, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Red-breasted Merganser, Hooded Merganser, etc...
    • Juli
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Juli1321
      Activity number three: I enjoyed looking at the pictures of the American Goldfinches and the Common Loons in their winter and summer plumages. I was already familiar with these birds different plumages but it is always nice to see. Both birds are so fantastic in their breeding (summer) plumage. I also enjoy them in their winter plumage but they are not as showy and spectacular.
    • Juli
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Juli1321
      Activity Number Two: Looking at the Merlin app with it set on likey birds, the first bird that comes up is the Northern Cardinal. I do have them year round in my yard. Even though they are the most common birds in my yard I always enjoy seeing them. I love watching the pairs feed one another and really enjoy watching the juveniles growing and changing color as they mature. The second likely bird that is a year round resident is the Carolina Wren. They nest in my yard and even sometimes come in my house when I leave my sliding door open. One of them always comes and perches in my kitchen on top of my cabinets. I just love that he is comfortable fitting into the human world and coming in my house. I also love that such loud sounds come out of such a little bird. The third year round resident and likely bird is the Carolina Chickadee. These cute little birds are in my yard daily and I always enjoy hearing all their cute vocalizations. As far as part-time residents, every year I look forward to the arrival of the American Goldfinches. When they arrive they are mostly pretty drab but still very enjoyable little birds. By the time they leave the males look like flying lemons. Another part-time resident that came to mind is the Great Crested Flycatcher. While this bird does not have spectacular colors it is a very attractive bird. One of the things I like about it, is that it is so loud it evident when it arrives and it is quite easy to locate. The third part-time resident I am choosing to write about is the Mississippi Kite. When they are here I see them every day flying over my backyard and at various places all over town. I love watching them flying up in the sky and randomly diving down as if they are going to catch some prey and then just swooping back up. They seem like they really love the wind and flying. They appear as if they are having a great time up there! I always love a raptor and this one is really attractive.
    • Juli
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Juli1321
      I just watched the range maps for the Northern Cardinal and the Blackburnian Warbler. I saw that the Northern Cardinal's abundance fluctuated and moved around the edges and concentrated a bit at times in it's usual range (which includes where I live in Florida) but did not really migrate. It's non-breeding, pre-breeding, breeding, and post-breeding areas are all pretty much the same with no migration. The Blackburnian Warbler's range changed drastically as it went through parts of the United States and up to Canada and then back through slightly different areas of the United States and into Central and South America. The Blackburnian Warbler shares some of it's pre and post-breeding time in it's non-breeding and breeding areas. It migrates significantly. The Scarlet Tanager goes from South America up through Central America and into the Northeast portion of the United States and on up into the NE portion of Canada and then right back where it had come from. The Scarlet Tanagers pre and post-breeding time shares area with both the non-breeding and breeding locations, with a lot of overlap with the breeding location in particular. The Western Tanger goes from Central America into the Western portion of the United States and up into the Western side of Canada. The Western Tanagers pre and post-breeding time also shares area with both the non-breeding and breeding locations, with a little less overlap with the breeding location than the Scarlet Tanager. The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds goes from Central America (non-breeding time) up through the Northeast portion of the United States and the NE portion of Canada and then back through the same areas and back where they came from. It's breeding, pre-breeding, post-breeding areas are all the same areas with varying abundance. The Rufous Hummingbird goes from Central America (non-breeding) up the far Western portion of the United States close to the coast (pre-breeding), and up into the Western portion of the Canada (breeding). On it's way back down to Central America it still goes through the Western United States but covers a much larger portion of the United States(post-breeding), further East but still in the West, and then back into Central America. These two birds are polar opposites in the areas (East and West) and they have fairly different patterns as far as their pre and post-breeding in that the Rufous Hummingbird is only traveling during that time and goes to it's breeding area but the Ruby-throated Hummingbird shares that same area with it's breeding area. The Sandhill Crane goes just barely into Central America and concentrates in Texas and Florida during in their non-breeding season. They they travel up through the middle of the United States during the pre-breeding time and then up into the Northern most parts of Canada during their breeding season. There also are a good abundance or breeding Sandhill Cranes in Central and South Florida. They they return pretty much the way they came. The Yellow-bellied Flycatcher's non-breeding location is Central America. It's pre and post breeding areas are pretty much the same areas of the Northeastern United States. They Yellow-bellied Flycatcher's breeding area is primarily the lower Eastern portion of Canada. These two birds have a lot of similarities to their migration patterns. It is really interesting to see the varying patterns and different ways that birds manage their travels. I really enjoyed using this portion of the site that I had never used before.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      lisabj
      My favorite birding spot is home in California. Right now we are seeing a lot of House Fiches, Oak Titmouse, Mourning Dove, Turkey Vulture, Spotted Towhee, Dark-eyed Junco, Anna’s Hummingbird, American Crow, California Towhee, Red-shouldered Hawk, Bushtit, Raven, Western Bluebird, Song Sparrow, California Quail, Lesser Goldfinch to name some frequent visitors. I used a combination of EBird local checklists by date, Merlin likely birds and the Audubon ap to determine what birds I might see in January that are not visiting now. It seems I could begin watching for these birds later in the fall. Fox Sparrow, not on Merlin likely bird list, but Audubon shows this bird common here in the winter. The Golden -crowned Sparrow is a yearly winter visitor. Yellow-rumpled Warbler, considered rare but possible by Merlin. More likely in the winter than now. Townsend’s Warbler is also considered rare but is on the Merlin likely bird list. More likely to see in January than now. Ruby Crowned Kinglet should be visible in the winter. Say’s Phoebe are more scarce now but more likely in winter. I thought I saw one early spring so it will be nice to watch for this bird again.
    • Lydia
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      lpultorak33
      Activity 1: Ruby-throated hummingbirds and Rufous hummingbirds: What stands out to me about these hummingbirds is that the Ruby-throated is located in the East side of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and the Rufous are located in the West. For the Rufous, they travel north just on the very West of the United States by California, Oregon, and Washington, but on their way South, they go practically as far East as Nebraska. Activity 3: American Goldfinch: In the summer, the male American Goldfinch has bright yellow plumage with a black cap, black wings, and white wing bars. In the winter, the bird is pale yellow or tan with no black cap.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      lisabj
      Activity 2. I Made a list of likely birds that I had not yet observed and a list of likely visitors. Studying the photos, sounds and behaviors of unobserved likely birds made it very easy to spot them. They had been there all along but just out of my awareness. Some of these birds include the Bewick’s Wren, White-Breasted Nuthatch and the Wrentit. Some recently observed visitors are the Hooded Oriole and the Black-headed Grosbeak.
    • Lesley
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      LNinNanaimo
      Activity 2: I live on Vancouver Island, BC, where the climate is mild for most year, so many birds are here year-round. For comparison's sake, I chose the Anna's Hummingbird and the Rufous Hummingbird, both of which are at my feeder these days, but I won't expect to see the Rufous in the winter, although the Anna's will come to the feeder all year (and I make sure to keep the nectar from freezing on cold nights.) Black-headed Grosbeak made an appearance in May/June but I won't expect them in colder months, whereas the American Goldfinch could turn up anytime. I saw some Common Nighthawks flying one evening, but they stay around a short time here, but our Barred Owls and Bald Eagles are always around. Activity 4: It's August, so I would expect to see gulls, Black Oystercatchers, Great Blue Herons, Canada Geese, and Cormorants in my favorite shoreline birding spots, and they'll there all year, but in six months from now, I would hope to see Mergansers, Buffleheads, and maybe Surf Scoters, and in late February, into March and early April, thousands of Brant Geese will stop for fuel on their way north, which is a very exciting event.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Janetcaperobin
      Activity 2: Birds that do and do not migrate in my area.
      • I live in the Western Cape in South Africa, there are not many birds that migrate that live in my area. I have researched most of the birds and they are all mostly endemic to South Africa namely:
      • Malachite sunbird
      • Cape Batis
      • Cape Bulbul
      • Olive Woodpecker.
      • Some birds that migrate to South Africa:
      • Greater striped swallow is the only bird that visits our area and has built a nest against our house in previous years. It breeds in South Africa, it is migratory wintering further north in Angola & Tanzania220px-Greater_Striped_Swallows_(Cecropis_cucullata),_left_one_calling_..._(46169513572),_crop
      • White stork
      • Yellow-billed kite
      • European bee-eater
      • Lesser Kestrel
    • Jamies
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Jamies007
      Activity 2: Year- round residents:Black-capped Chickadees, Black-billed Magpies and House Sparrow. Non Year-round residents: Yellow Warbler, Sora, and Blue-Winged Teal. I have not seen Blue-Winged Teal and Sora at William Hawrelak Park, Edmonton, Canada before. I would like to know when special birds appear.
    • Tricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      fred daly
      Activity 2: Some of the birds that Merlin says are likely in my locality, but I have not yet seen: Year Round Residents - Olive Backed Oriole, Spotted Pardalote, Red Browed Firetail Seasonal Visitors - Spangled Drongo, Little Friarbird, Yellow Tufted Honeyeater
    • Meghan
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      heyhey907
      Activity 3: The winter colors seem to be more subdued. Now I realize why the mallards always seem so flamboyant in the spring time when I typically can't remember them that way during other times of the year.
    • Meghan
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      heyhey907
      Activity 2: The year round residents in my area (Anchorage, Alaska), include the black-billed magpie, mallard and blackcapped chickadee, all of which I've seen. I also now understand that the dark-eyed junco is year round, so I will keep a look out in the winter for this charmer. Seasonal birds include the mew gull, arctic tern and red necked grebe, all of which I've seen. One pattern I notice is that the year round birds I see closer to my house and the season ones I see live in the lagoon/wetland a few blocks away. This lesson has been a good reflection on how the birds let me know what time of year it is, from the return of the gulls in the spring, the impending solstice and the early morning and late night song birds til the beginning of the Canada goose migration at of summer.
    • Kimberly
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      ageek917
      I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Right now, July, I see a variety of birds; Carolina Wren, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Blue Birds, American Gold Finch, Wood Thrush, Red Winged Black birds, Yellow Billed Cuckoos, Scarlet Tanagers and more. Six months from now I expect the blue birds, tanagers, cuckoos, wood thrush and maybe the blue jays will have migrated away. The Carolina Wrens and cardinals will stay all winter. We will also have an influx of migratory geese and many ducks in the next few months. I am wondering if the red winged black birds will migrate or stay?   In comparing summer and winter birds, I have mainly noticed that summer colors are vibrant and bright and winter colors have more brown. The brown is certainly good for blending in.
    • Bill
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      wdlovern
      activity 1 Always to learn more about eBird.
    • rita
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      rlaurance
      My favorite birding place so far is Leslie Science and nature Center. So far I've seen a family oof Flickers there, as well as heard either a red-tailed hawk or a red-shouldered hawk. I thought it was a red-shouldered hawk. Anyway- I expect to find woodpeckers and hawks there regularly. There is also some kind of swallow in abundance, which may be a tree swallow. and may be purple martins. I do not expect to find purple martins, as they are a migratory bird. Flickers do move around, but they also live in Michigan throughout the year, so I would expect them to overwinter here. Red-tailed hawks also stay the winter- they expand their range during the breeding season, but there is always a population of them that remain here. Northern harriers have been sighted there. They are an interesting bird- they do migrate a bit, but a population remains in Michigan year round. There are fewer of them here in the summer, as some fly north to Canada.
    • rita
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      rlaurance
      Exercise #3 The American Gold Finch is a bright, bright yellow with black wings, a white rump, and white wing bars. It has a black cap in summer and a pale orange beak. In winter its plumage has much less yellow, although the face is still quite yellow, and in winter it no longer has a black cap. Instead it has much more white and tan colors, although it still has its black wings. The Common Loon is extremely striking, with a black head and black beak and red eye, and a black and white neck band and green neck band, and a black and white body and black and white stripes on its chest. It is also much more drab in winter. Its beak changes to a lighter color! It becomes a two-toned beak. And it loses its neck bands. Overall it becomes a two toned duck, with white on the underside and front of neck and face, and a light brown on its back and top of head and back of neck. Its eye is still the same red.
    • rita
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      rlaurance
      So there are Merlins, Mute Swans, and Hairy Woodpeckers year round in southeast Michigan, and I have seen all three. There is a group in town called 'Swan Friends" and they follow the breeding of all of the swans in the area, and I have seen them while driving by various lakes. There are Merlins year round, but the only one that I have seen, to my knowledge at any rate, is in captivity at the Leslie Science and Nature Center. I saw three hawks soaring above the University Hospital today and was unable to identify them. Hawks of all kinds are a common sight in this area. And of course, hairy Woodpeckers live here year round, and I have seen them at the bird feeder or in trees. The Acadia Flycatcher is here from late April until September or October, and I don't think that I have ever seen one. The American Redstart is also here from late April through September, as is the American Woodcock. I haven't seen any of these.
    • rita
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      rlaurance
      I really enjoyed this exercise, although I ended up with quite a lot of notes, and I still don't think that I understand the maps, For instance, for both the rufous hummingbird and the western tanager- according to the range maps both birds are found coast to coast, but according to the migration animation maps, they never are seen in Michigan, which is where I live. I realize the animation map shows the highest concentrations of them and not the total population. The Northern Cardinal doesn't migrate much at all, and can be found year round in Michigan and throughout its range, which covers most of the United States, the lower half of Canada, and Central America. The Blackburnian Warbler, by contrast, travels from Mexico to the bottom half of Canada in migration, spending the winters in the warmer climate of Central America and the summers up north. The Scarlet Tanager and the Western Tanager are both migrating birds, but the Scarlet Tanager migrates from the upper coast of South America and the Western Tanager from Central America. There is a bigger concentration of Scarlet Tangier's in the southern U'S during breeding season- the Western Tanger flies all the way up to Canada. Both the Rufous Hummingbird and the Ruby -throated hummingbird fly north from Central America- the range and concentration map shows that most of the rufous hummingbirds fly along the west coast into Canada, while the ruby-throated hummingbird migrates into the United States and Canada for the breeding season and back down to Central America for the winter. Sandhull crane vs. yellow-bellied flycatcher The Sandhill Crane is the most interesting so far- It is spread all over, and its migration is incomplete, in that some Sandhill Cranes stay down in Florida while most fly north as far north as the arctic and Alaska. But climate can’t be the driving factor in their migration if some of them stay in Florida for the summer. The Yellow-bellied flycatcher flies from Central American to Canada and back down again. Overall it has a very wide range as well, although not as wide a range as the Sandhill Crane.
      • Meghan
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        heyhey907
        Great summary. I also enjoyed comparing the two birds to make inferences about what drives the migration and how large natural features acted as boundaries and edges, e.g. the Rockies, great, lakes, major water sheds....
    • Eva
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      Toucanny
      Activity 3: - Male American Goldfinches: during the summer, the male American Goldfinch is bright yellow with black and white tail feathers and wings, a black crown, a bright orange beak, and a white rump. In the winter, however, the male American Goldfinch changes several things: its head is a duller yellow, its back turns into a light brown, its chest and belly become a very light brownish-yellow color that looks almost white, and its beak becomes a duller orange with some black surrounding it. Also, there seemed to be a dull gray stripe around its neck that wasn't there during the summer. What always stays the same is its white rump and black and white striped wings. - Common Loons in summer and winter: during the summer, the Common Loon has a black head which turns into a dark metallic green along the neck, which also has a line of white dots right at the top, and further down there is a line of white vertical stripes. The wings, back, and belly - it was sitting on the water at that moment, so I'm not so sure about the belly - are black with white dots that get smaller at the back of the bird. The biggest dots are squarish. The Common Loon also has a red eye and a long thick grayish beak.  The Common Loon in winter is different in almost every way. The wings, back, crown, and back of the neck are all a grayish-brown, and the rest of the body (the belly - also underwater at that moment -, and the neck) is white. The only thing that stays the same is the thick, long, grayish beak and the red eye.
    • Eva
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      Toucanny
      Activity 2: Birds in my area all year round - 1) The Crimson-fronted Parakeet is one of the residents in my neighborhood. I have seen and photographed it recently. It is endemic from south-eastern Nicaragua to western Panama, and occurs in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, in which it is the most common parakeet: a9e1bfe5-7709-456a-9937-eecc406fe2ec 2) The Great Kiskadee is also one of the year-round residents in my neighborhood. Even though I have not photographed it, I have heard and seen it around here. It is one of the largest Tyrant Flycatchers and it's common throughout most of Costa Rica. 3) The Clay-colored Thrush, the national bird of Costa Rica, is the last bird that I will mention, but there are still many others that occur year round around here. It is the national bird because of its incredible songs that it whistles from March to June. This bird is very common around here.   Birds in my area for part of the year - 1) The Summer Tanager is a bird that migrates north to breed during the months of June, July, and August, and comes back to Costa Rica (Central America) to winter. 2) The Chestnut-sided Warbler has a similar migratory pattern as the Summer Tanager: it migrates north to breed from mid-March to August, and then comes back to Costa Rica (Central America) to winter. 3) Yet another bird with a similar migratory pattern is the Broad-winged Hawk, a raptor: it migrates north to breed from June to September, and then comes back to Costa Rica (Central/South America) to winter.
    • Eric
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      shark_7
      • Activity 2: Three species year-round residents are Brown Pelican, Common Gallinule, and Yellow Warbler. Three species that only live for part of the year are American Redstart, Black Swift, and Wilson's Snipe. I have been able to see all of them in Puerto Rico. Wilson's Snipe was a lifer in December 2019.
      • Activity 4: If I were to visit my favorite spot today, I could see Bananaquits, Puerto Rican Woodpeckers, Puerto Rican Flycatchers, Greater Antillean Grackles, Brown Pelican, Scaly-naped Pigeon, Mangrove Cuckoo, White-crowned Pigeon, and among others. If I came back in six months, I could see American Redstarts, Black-and-white Warbler, Northern Parula, Prairie Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Hooded Warbler, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Ovenbird, and among others.
    • Eva
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      Toucanny
      Activity 1: - Northern Cardinal with Blackburnian Warbler: the Northern Cardinal stays in the same areas all year round, although very few fly a little bit more south and west during the summer. On the contrary, the Blackburnian Warbler winters in the northern Andes Mountains and the mountains of Costa Rica, and then migrates up to northern U.S.A. and Canada to spend the breeding season during the summer. - Scarlet Tanager with Western Tanager: the Scarlet Tanager winters in the western Amazon rainforest, and then migrates up to northern U.S.A. to spend the breeding season during the summer. Similarly, the Western Tanager winters in western Central America and Mexico, and then migrates up to Pacific U.S.A. and Canada. - Ruby-throated Hummingbird with Rufous Hummingbird: the Ruby-throated Hummingbird winters in western Mexico and Central America, and then migrates along eastern U.S.A. until it reaches northern U.S.A. and Canada to spend the breeding season during the summer. Similarly, the Rufous Hummingbird winters in Pacific Mexico and migrates along Pacific U.S.A. until it reaches Canada. - Sandhill Crane with Yellow-bellied Flycatcher: the Sandhill Crane winters in several spread out areas in southern and central U.S.A. and then migrates in a big group until it reaches Canada and Alaska. Similarly, the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher winters in Central America and southern Mexico, and then migrates up to Canada.
    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 37
      cgtv123
      Activity 2:  I was surprised at many of the birds in the explore birds section, as I had not seen quite a few of them.  I was surprised that robins were listed as year round, as it is unusual to see them in the winter.  I might see them once a year on a very nice day in the winter.  But seeing them typically is a sign of Spring to my friends and I. Cardinals and blue jays are also listed as all year, which matches my experience. I learned I should not expect to see the common grackle in the winter. The red-winged blackbird will be less common when I visit one of my favorite sites in the winter. I was surprised to see the following birds listed as summer birds in my area:  Indigo Bunting, tree swallow, orchard oriole, green heron, scarlet tanager, purple marlin.  I may have seen the female scarlet tanager, but never a red, male one.  Seeing any of these birds would make my day.   Many area (Maryland) birds which are common are relatively year-long, but not all.
    • Marcia
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      m.kaye
      Activity #1. I have great respect now for the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds, Scarlet Tanagers, Yellow-Bellied Flycatchers and so many others who fly such massive distances twice a year. Activity #2. In my Toronto area I often see Black-capped Chickadees, White-Breasted Nuthatches and Downy Woodpeckers year-round. But this year was the first time I became aware of migration patterns. In May, for one lovely week, I watched Orchard Orioles, Baltimore Orioles, Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks and Yellow-rumped Warblers. Looking forward to seeing them again in the autumn! Activity #3. I would never have recognized the Common Loon in its winter colours. I just recently became aware that the pale birds around our house in the dead of winter are the same American Goldfinches that are brilliant yellow all summer. fullsizeoutput_23c7fullsizeoutput_27a7 Activity #4. At this time of year a few of our likely birds are Trumpeter Swans, Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Indigo Buntings. I've seen the first two and am still looking for the third! In six months I'll be on the lookout for Hooded Mergansers, Pine Siskins and Merlins.
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      jennferguson76
      Activity 4: One of my favorite birding spots is the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge. Right now, I would expect to see quite a few snowy egrets and American White Pelicans. I would also see Swainson's Hawks and Burrowing Owls and Western Kingbirds. In six months the landscape changes and breeding pairs of Bald Eagle return. You also see more Ferruginous Hawks at that point as well.
    • Laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      llanodelrio
      Activity 1--We noticed that the migration patters sometimes were the same directions, but on different sided of the country.  It was interesting to watch the movement and the increases and decreases in the population of certain areas. Activity 2 -- We looked at migration patterns of the birds we have identified so far.  Most of the birds are with us year round, such as the Spotted Towhee, Red-Tailed Hawk, and Oak Titmouse.  The one we found that is not with us all year us is the White-crowned Sparrow.  We saw this bird all winter, but it disappeared when the weather changed.  Since we are inexperienced birders, it was a validating experience when we saw that our observations were confirmed by reliable data.  Using the migration patters will be very beneficial as we begin to identify more and more birds. Activity 3 --We noticed that the male American Goldfinch, in the summer, has a pastel yellow body, an orange bill, and a black cap.  By winter, the bird had a brown body, a brown bill, and the black cap had disappeared.  The Common Loon, in the summer, had a black-green head, white spots and stripes all over the body, a black bill, and a dark blue chest band.  By winter, the body of the bird was brown, the bill was grey, there were no spots or chest band, and the chest was white. Activity 4--Because of Covid-19, our favorite birding spot is our back yard.  In our yard we have House Finches, Oak Titmice, Spotted Towhees, California Towhees, Mourning Doves, Black Phoebes, and Bewick's Wren.  All of these birds stay is Santa Clarita year round, but in the winter we have White-Crowned Sparrows, so in six months we can expect that. My granddaughter and I are taking this course together.  I am homeschooling her, and we incorporating this class into her science.  We have learned so much throughout this course and are turning into avid birdwatchers.  Birds just used to be feathers and sounds.  It is very empowering to know the names of our local birds, learn their habits, and recognize some of their songs (song ID is difficult).  Looking forward to being able to expand our birdwatching range soon. Our spotted Towhee:   IMG_3863
    • Devery
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Devhow
      Activity 1:  I found it interesting that the migration north in the spring and south in the fall for some of the selected birds followed different patterns.  As a newcomer to bird watching, I am glad to know the birds I missed during the spring migration will be coming back in August and/or September, giving me another opportunity to see them.  
    • Theresa
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      tet1512
      Activity 2: Year-round versus part-time residents.  According to eBird, three species I can expect to see year-round in my area are cardinals, mallard ducks, and great blue herons.  Of those three, I have only seen cardinals and mallards in the winter months; I would be beyond shocked to see a heron in the winter, especially since many of the ponds where I usually see them in summer are small enough to at least partially freeze in the winter.  Some of the species listed as part-timers are much less surprising, like ruby-throated hummingbirds, green herons, and juncos.  I've see the first two of those only in the warmest summer months, and the junco only once or twice in very late winter/early spring.  Something I'm learning as I go along is that there are no hard and fast windows or "deadlines" beyond which you will or won't see a particular bird, there are always stragglers. Activity 4: expected birds at my favorite spot.  Was out there this morning and saw 10 times the number of red-winged blackbirds that I saw of anything else.  :P  I wasn't expecting a huge variety but I wasn't expecting so little diversity either.  In 6 months the blackbirds will probably have gone but the Canada geese and possibly mallards will still be hanging around.  Anything else I see besides sparrows will be a nice bonus; according to Merlin there are about 65 species I might see in my location on December 22, so I'll definitely be on the lookout!
    • Hannah
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      hvelde
      Activity 1: The Northern Cardinal’s range remains relatively similar year-long, whereas the Blackburnian Warbler’s range changes drastically throughout the year. The cardinal’s range spans from southeastern Canada to southern Mexico, with a heavy concentration in the eastern U.S., year-round. The warbler is abundant in Central America and the northwestern tip of South America during the winter months. It migrates to southern Canada and the northeastern U.S. for the summer months. The Scarlet Tanager migrates from southern Canada and the northeastern U.S. to Central America and northern South America. The Western Tanager migrates from British Columbia, parts of the Canadian territories, and all across the western side of the U.S. to western Mexico, southern Mexico, and Central America. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird migrates from southern Canada and the northeastern U.S. to southern Mexico and Central America. The Rufous Hummingbird migrates from western Canada and the western U.S. to central and southern Mexico. The Sandhill Crane can be found across parts of central Canada, the Canadian Arctic, the northern U.S., and Florida during the summer months. During the winter, it can be found in central California and parts of the southern and midwestern U.S. The Yellow-bellied Flycatcher can be found in southern Mexico and Central America during the winter, and across central and eastern Canada, northern Alberta, and parts of Yukon and Alaska during the summer. Activity 2: Three species that are year-round residents in my area are the American Robin, the American Goldfinch, and the Northern Cardinal (all of which I have seen many times before). Three species that only live in my area for part of the year are the Tree Swallow, the Yellow Warbler, and the Baltimore Oriole. I have seen the oriole, and I suspect I have seen the swallow. Activity 3: Male goldfinches in the summer are bright yellow with stark black wings and white wing-bars. In the winter, their yellow plumage shifts to a dim, dusty yellow with a white/buff-coloured chest and belly. In summer, Common Loons sport a deep green necklace, an all-black head, and a black black speckled with white. In winter, these same loons lose their green necklace and white speckles. They don a white face, neck, and chest, and a black back. Activity 4: My favourite birding spot currently has Wood Ducks, Mallards, Double-crested Cormorants, Bluejays, Black-capped Chickadees, Trumpeter Swans, and many more. In six months, I can expect to see Dark-eyed Juncos, Black-capped Chickadees, Northern Mockingbirds, and Canvasbacks.
    • Margaret
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      pegkahn
      Cardinal and Warbler The Northern Cardinal appears to have considerable range abundance overlap between its breeding and non-breeding seasons and through the year.  It does not seem to migrate. The eBird abundance animation shows considerable stability, with some changes in western regions of the U.S. They are present in abundance throughout the year in southeast Michigan. The Blackburnian Warbler, on the other hand, seems to be a long-distance migratory bird. During its breeding season, June 7-July 27, the population seems concentrated in lower eastern Canada and the upper Atlantic states. During its non-breeding season (Nov. 16-March 8) it is abundantly present in the NW region of South America. This warbler spends winter in South America in open forests, including coffee plantations, according to the Cornell Lab.  In its pre- and post- breeding migratory seasons it’s present in the U.S. Midwest and East and Central America. Birdwatchers have occasionally said they may have seen one during the migratory season in a wooded area in Ann Arbor. The Tanagers The Scarlet Tanager breeds June 7-August 17 in North America, mainly in the northern eastern quadrant of the U.S. A friend and I saw one –stunning--a couple of times in County Farm Park, Ann Arbor, last summer.  During its relatively short December to January non-breeding season it is abundant in northwest regions of South America. Pre- and post-migration it is present in both its breeding and non-breeding areas, Central America, and some additional areas. The Cornell Lab explains the long-distance migration as follows: Long-distance migrant. Twice a year, Scarlet Tanagers fly across the Gulf of Mexico between their breeding grounds in eastern North America and their wintering grounds in South America. They usually migrate at night. Individuals that spend the winter farther south migrate to breeding grounds later, and in more synchronized bursts, than individuals wintering further north. The Western Tanager sticks to the western region of the U.S. and of Mexico and Central America, not reaching as far south as the Scarlet Tanager but migrating farther north into upper Canada. It has a short breeding season, shorter than that of the Scarlet. Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Rufous Hummingbird During its breeding season, June 7- July 27, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird covers the eastern and midwestern U.S. and lower eastern Canada. The morning of June 11 I think one visited our potted Calibrachoe annuals (orange and purple ones) in Ann Arbor, Michigan; it did not have a bright red throat so was a female;  is it possible it was a stray female Rufous?  In its non-breeding season, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is abundant mainly in Central America (and on the lower east coast of the Florida peninsula.  Their migratory path seems similar in both directions. They thus seem to be tiny birds that migrate long distances from the eastern U.S. to Central America, with peak migration in September (darker yellow on seasons timeline bar). Cornell Lab says they can fly 2,000 km without a break and that older birds travel ahead of younger ones.  The Rufous Hummingbird is somewhat similar in its migratory pattern. However, unlike the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, it is present near the west coast of North America and has a slightly earlier and shorter breeding season (May 24-June 14). It also appears to take different migratory paths northward (pre-breeding) and southward (post-breeding). This is a loop migration. The Rufous travels north up the Pacific Coast but returns to the south through Rocky Mountain states--Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico-- appearing to rely upon mountain meadows for food during southbound migration. Sandhill Crane and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher The Sandhill Crane species in the Western Hemisphere seems to have variations in its migratory behavior. Some smaller sub-species appear to be non-migratory (Cuban, Mississippian, Floridian). The maps on eBird show the population overall migrating northward as early as January and south beginning in August. The breeding population, between May 31 and September 7th, a long breeding season, seems to be very widespread as far north as Alaska and upper Canada. In general, they seem to spend the winter in the southern U.S. and northern Mexico. Migration density pre- and post-breeding seems greatest in Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma, a relatively narrow established route. The Platte River in Oklahoma is apparently a massive staging ground for the northward migration.  In Southeast Michigan, cranes appear in early March in open fields and meadows.  In late September they visit Michigan staging areas (and one friend's backyard in western Washtenaw County) prior to migration to Florida.  The small Yellow-bellied Flycatcher is a long-distance migrant. It breeds in New England and eastern Canada, with some populations as far north as lower Alaska and the Canadian Yukon. Unlike the Sandhill Crane, it seems to have a very short breeding season, June 28 to July 13, and each migration season is considerably longer than the short breeding season. The non-breeding season is November through mid-April.  The Flycatcher winters in Central America.  The Sandhill Crane’s breeding season is May 31- September 7, and each migratory season is about the same length as its breeding season. The migratory path/territory of this flycatcher is also broad, while that of the Sandhill Crane is narrower and concentrated in the central U.S. In both places, its breeding and non-breeding areas, it seems to seek forests or at least shade.
    • Kenneth R
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      kennethrwindsor
      Activity 3: I have really struggled to distinguish between gold and bald eagles (younger ones) and red-tailed hawks that I see around Lower Klamath Lake WR, since [1] the distinctive white head of the bald eagle doesnt show up until they are older and [2] the variation on the hawks seems significant....I found this bit of description helpful: "While golden eagles and juvenile bald eagles can look similar, there are a few key differences. Golden eagles have gold colored feathers around the nape of their neck. Golden eagles also have feathers all the way down to their foot. Conversely, bald eagles have un-feathered yellow ankles (it almost looks like they're wearing capris). The last diagnostic tool is the head size; golden eagles have much smaller heads than balds (almost like a red-tailed hawk head on an eagle body)."
    • Kenneth R
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      kennethrwindsor
      Activity 4: Having been to Tulelake 3 times in April and May, I am fascinated in how the species present even during that short period, have changed. During my last visit, the White-faced Ibis were leaving in the hundreds...what a sight.2P1A00892P1A0090
    • Kara
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      kfawley
      Activity 2: I've been learning the importance of knowing what bird are seasonal, as I recently thought I had seen a tree sparrow but eBird warned me it was a rare sighting in early summer. I swear that there was a dark spot on it's chest! but I expect it was a chipping sparrow, which are more prevalent now than in winter months. This past spring I saw yellow-rumped warblers (first in Florida in late February, later here in Pennsylvania in early May) and magnolia warblers over two days in mid-May, but now they're all gone! Currently, I'm enjoying the peewees and wood thrushes, which apparently will only be around until fall. I'm sort of glad to see the catbirds leave around that time (so loud and whiny!). For year-round residents, I was surprised to learn that tufted titmice are so common around here since I only occasionally spot them. I see Carolina wrens year-round, a few are my little neighbors, always hanging out and setting up a nest around my deck. I have yet to see a goldfinch - which apparently are common here all year.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      MDV1952
      Activity Two: Three species of birds that are year round residents in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia where I live include the cardinal, bluebird and Eastern phoebe. Three birds that are only in my area for part of the year are the ruby-throated hummingbird, scarlet tanager and Baltimore oriole.  They only spend the breeding season in this area. Activity Four: At one of the favorite spots for of bird watchers in my area,  I could expect to see 57 species of birds in June according to eBird data.  Some of the birds I have seen there in June include swallows (tree and barn), red-winged blackbirds, bluebirds, indigo bunting, red-shouldered hawk, and American goldfinch.   According to eBird data, in six months (December) I could expect to see 28 species of birds.   Some of the birds I would see would be the same as in June as they are year round residents.  However, others that I would only expect to see during December would be part year residents such as the hermit thrush and yellow-bellied sapsucker.  I  have not seen either of these birds and plan to look for them this winter.
    • Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      BCHeritage
      Activity 2: Three species that are year-round residents Phainopepla, Verdin, and Cactus Wren.  I see two of them regularly but I need to look more for the Verdin. Three that only live in your area for part of the year ·         Canyon wren – I seen them but had not paid attention to the fact that they are here only sometimes (M, A, M and then late June-July and Nov-Dec).  I had no idea that they skipped around like that. ·         Black Throated Sparrow – almost all year round but appears to take a short break late June.  I think this may be an error in the map since it does correspond to anything on the range maps. ·         The White wing Done leaves for a bit in the winter too – longer than the ap shows at my house. They were gone from early December to April 18 this year. ·         The turkey vulture is here most of the year (again gone a bit more at our property but close to what the ap shows). We 1st saw them this year March 19.
    • Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      BCHeritage
      Northern Cardinal with Blackburnian Warbler Northern Cardinal has few changes … some increase to the north in the summer. However the Blackburnian Warbler has a complete change from S. America to N. America. Scarlet Tanager with Western Tanager Scarlet Tanager has most breeding in the N central to east of the US while spends the non-breeding perion in north eastern S. America. Breeding season  os longer than the Western Tanager (Jun 7 - Aug 17 versus Jun 21 - Jul 6). Western Tanager is similar is that it breeds in the north (US/Canada) and non-breeding in the south (mostly central America) but very little overlap with the Scarlet Tanager. Ruby-throated Hummingbird with Rufous Hummingbird Similar comments to the Scarlet Tanager with Western Tanager on the pattern north to south. Although separate ranges for breeding, the Ruby-throated hummingbird Non-breeding season Dec 7 - Mar 8 in Central American overlaps with the Rufous Hummingbird non-breeding season which is Oct 26 - Feb 8 Sandhill Crane with Yellow-bellied Flycatcher The Sandhill Crane spends some non-breeding (pre-post too) in Mexico but more north of there.  The Yellow-bellied Flycatcher non breeding is all in south Mexico and central America. The Sandhill also ranges further north but not as far east.
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      Carol8632
      Activity 2 I explored Merlin likely birds Chickadee and Blue Jay is year round and do remember seeing in winter and in my backyard. Downy Woodpecker is year round although will need watch for it in winter. I only remember seeing in spring and summer. It was in my backyard a lot in May but now is infrequent. Grey Catbird and Brown Thrasher are May to October. The Thrasher I see in my yard, the Catbird in a local park. I will need to watch for them and see how late in the season I see them. The wood Duck is April to October.  We see them every year in a local park but I am trying to watch for them more as they nest there and hope to see their young.
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      nielsenearl
      Birdwatching Through the Seasons Activity 2: Using Merlin’s “Likely Birds” feature and/or range maps in field guides, explore birds that are found in your area. Choose three species that are year-round residents, and three that only live in your area for part of the year. Have you seen any of them before? Share what you find in the discussion. I checked my range maps in my field guides against Merlin.  I found many of our birds extended to a larger area for year around in Merlin than in my older field guides. I checked these year around birds, since we see them nearly every day:  Oregon Junco, Bewick’s Wren, and Anna’s Hummingbird. I checked these for migrants:  Bullocks Oriole, Fox Sparrow, and Ruby-crowned Kinglet. I have seen all six before, but the second three only periodically.  The Bullocks Oriole we just spotted last week [first sighting, and mistook him at first for a Varied Thrush].  We expect to see the pair off and on through the summer breeding season [Apr-Sep]. The last time we saw a Fox Sparrow was early spring, probably late Mar or early Apr.  This large sparrow will come back in the fall to mix with the other juncos and wrens and kinglets to have a cozy winter [non-breeding season]. A hard one to identify is the Ruby-crowned Kinglet, which shares the Fox Sparrow’s migration timing.  This tiny cutie arrives in about Sep to share its non-breeding season and takes off about Apr to breed and raise their tiny young ones in northern Canada and Alaska.
    • Gabrielle
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      gaviots
      In their summer breeding plumage, we notice Common Loons have black beaks, red eyes, a green-black band around the neck. They also have more distinctive markings. They are checkered black and white on their back. In the winter, the beak is gray, the eyes are less red, and their colors are more simple, with a white underside and a gray upperside. Where we live, we can only see Common Loons in winter nonbreeding plumage. We'd like to travel to where they breed to see their patterns.
    • Jody
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      BookJody
      I think it is interesting that the American Goldfinch's beak is black/gray in the winter and bright orange in the summer.  I never noticed that before.
      • Sophia
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        sophiamathews
        Yes, me too!  I wonder how birds change their beak color?
      • Laurie
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        llanodelrio

        @Sophia Me too!!!

    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      PowellS9
      Activity 1: It was really interesting to compare the animated range maps.  I had never thought about how northern Cardinals don't migrate the way the warblers do!  Also, it was interesting to see how, with the two hummingbirds for example, they cover different regions of North America like Rufous Hummingbird takes the west coast and Ruby throated hummingbird takes the Mid/East.  I noticed the Rufous hummingbird had a different migration path going back south than on the way north to breeding grounds.  One thing that surprised me was how wide the range of Sandhill cranes is at one time during the year-reaching all the way to the north in Canada while some are still in the states! Activity 2: 3 birds that are year round residents in my area are Northern Cardinal, European Starling, and Red bellied Woodpecker, and I have seen each of those.  3 birds that migrate through the area and I have not yet seen are Sora, Dunlin, and Yellow throated Vireo. Activity 3: For both pairs, the colors and patterns seem much bolder and more strikingly cut in the summer plumage than the winter.  The common loon really lightens up around it's neck/face in the winter too, instead of all black like the summer
    • Mary Alice
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Landyce1
      The Northern Cardinal stays within its US range most of the year, concentrated in southern and east coast states while the Blackburnian is a long distance migrant, whose range is from South American to the far northern boreal forests of Canada. The Ruby-throat and Rufous hummingbirds both winter in South American then head to opposite sides of the states for the breeding season. The Scarlet and Western tanagers likewise have similar wintering grounds in South America, but head to opposite sides of the states for the breeding season. Sandhill cranes winter in the southern states but then spread out across most of North America during their migration, spending their breeding season in Alaska and Canada. The Yellow-throated Flycatcher appears to make a long flight over water to get from its Central American winter grounds to its breeding territory in Canada.
    • Marietta Isabel
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Landis Private Reserve
      Activity 2: I live in Panama, Central America.  I have seen the Baltimore Oriole around October. The Black Hawk Eagle once every 2 years, its not common to see him around. He is so beautiful. The Swallow-tailed Kite also comes around twice a year. Year round residents: Great Kiskadee, Lesson's Motmot, Gray-Cowled Wood Rail. Saludos, Marietta
      • Elizabeth
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        samisre
        We have Baltimore Orioles now here in Canada and have been here for about two weeks. I need to mark it down. The other birds I do not know.
    • Riccardo
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      rcdrcd
      Activity 1: Northern Cardinal is pretty much "sedentary" than the other birds. Blackburnian Warbler and Scarlet Tanager have a similar migration path from andes in south america to the eastern part of north america. Scarlet Tanager and Western Tanager "meet" each other during the migration in central america but they take opposite directions when they arrive in north america the first goes to eastern side the second to the western side. Also the two hummingbirds coming from central america migrates to opposite directions in north america. Sandhill Crane during the year tends to space all the north america, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher from central america migrate to northern parts passing through the eastern part. Activity 2: As resident species I chose Eurasian Blackbird, Hooded crow and the European Serin, I see the first and the second all the year, the second is more often diffused in the city in the spring and summer. As non residents I chose the common swift, the barn swallow, and the common redstarts. The second is more diffused in the countryside, I haven't seen one at now in the city, the other two are presents. Activity 3: Both species present a more colourfull and notable plumage in the summer time, with more detailed patterns and bright colours. Activity 4: Now we are in spring here and there are a lot of birds coming for the warmer part of the year, in six monthes most of birds will be migrating to warmer places and only the resident ones will face the winter.
    • Jeanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      jmselby
      I have had Merlin for a long time and did not know there was a “most likely” feature.  How helpful for when we finally get to travel again!
    • Vicki g
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      vickigoldsmith
      I have been engaged in the alternate activity of learning to use a hand me down camera to take bird pics to review/edit later and be able to confer with others for what I cannot identify. yesterday I observed a lone adult breeding snowy egret, mingling in a harbor with the Canada Geese that were assembled there (about 10 or so - just one couple with a gosling. Thanks to the camera, my friend later confirmed two American Black Ducks which I didn't have the experience to feel secure about when I had seen them in the same spot some time ago. I am slowly getting used to the great variation of appearances in stages of life and seasons - this was brand new information for me. So I think, although I will peruse my bird books and the online resources for a few birds related to this exercise, I seem to do best digging deeper with whatever bird(s)  I have observed during the day.  however I am thrilled that we are an area that gets a lot of migrating birds, and now having joined a birder facebook page (and bird club when it starts meeting again), and thanks to the Cornell rare bird e-alert (which then also shows me what other birds people are listing, I am attuned to what is blowing into town. IMG_8255
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      Northstar56
      Activity 1: I couldn't search for birds in the "ebird Status and Trends" area. It kept telling me "nothing found". Any one else have that issue? Activity 2: Birds that live year round in my area are: Canada Goose (seen); Mallard (seen); and, Barrows Goldeneye (seen).  Birds that live part of the time are: Common Loon (seen); Dusky Grouse (seen); and, osprey (seen). Activity 3: In summer, the Goldfinch is a brighter yellow and has a black marking on its forehead.  The difference between a summer and winter Common loon in striking! I had no idea. The summer loon has green color on its head and neck, vivid black and white pattern on its back - to mention only a few.  By contrast, the winter loon is a dull buff/white/grey with little or no markings. Only their tell tale shape lets me know these are the loons I'm used to seeing. Activity 4: It's mid-May and most if not all of my "most likely birds" are around.  The ones I could expect to see i 6 months are year round birds such as Northern Harrier, Sharp Shinned Hawk, Golden Eagle, Cooper's Hawk. Bald Eagle, Red Tailed Hawk.  I couldn't find birds that are only here in the winter. I live in western Canada.
    • STUART
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      ashtonsa
      Activity 1: Northern Cardinal pretty Eastern US centric and stationary year round, Blackburnian Warbler clearly east coast S to N coastal run but appears to hug in to land mass yet possible overwater run along Mexican coast. Western and Scarlet Tanagers appear to hold a clear line of demarkation in South America but live close next door then Western heads up along the coastal land mass while the Scarlet takes a turn east with a large over water pass in the Gulf before spreading out on its approach to Northern America favoring the east. Ruby Throated Hummers spread out on the East but I was interested in the sitings in Florida throughout the winter.  Some are at home there. The Sandhill Crane loves the interior CONUS run clearly. The Flycatcher has an interesting pass up and down with what appears to be a long run with no stopover even thought they are over land, or at least no sitings in the day on the ground are reporting. Activity 2: All year:  Eastern Towhee is indicated as observed in my region year round but I have not seen one. House Finch is very common and ofter robs our Blue Bird nest boxes.  Cedar Waxwing is reported but I will keep searching. Part Year: We are on a water way so many ducks and geese pass our way but I selected the Barn Swallow, frequents our porch with a messy nest and but its aerial performance catching insects over our pasture is incredible. Eastern Whip-poor-will is indicated a here but not widely seen. When I was a child heard it every night in the summer but rarely now.  We lost many Northern Bobwhite over the years due to hedgerow removal but not they are returning in low numbers but they are here now in May. Activity 3: The American Goldfinch is an amazing color transition show at our feeder. The covert markings etc. stay relatively constant but of course the striking yellow overtakes the winter brown right before your eyes. I have not seen a Loon here but the images really show that shape is most important in maintaining ID during winter months. The beautiful color definition is washed out in the winter when the attraction has lost its importance, but wow is it sensational in breeding regalia! Activity 4: I am fortunate that my favorite birding spot lies on our 400 acre family farm along the middle Potomac River Virginia side.  I expect to see or hear over 53 species in the Spring and early Summer months. I can't claim this collection of observations as my own as my Audubon team came and assembled it for me.  The changing landscape now is revealing Osprey who returned pretty much on time in late March, passing Northern Harriers and I was lucky to see the Red Breasted Grosbeak this year which is only a brief visitor. From this lesson I am searching now for the Blackpoll Warbler that should be passing through now and other Warblers known to pass but not seen often.
    • Nicole
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      rosie2020
      American Red-start? DSCN4252 DSCN3396 Great Blue Heron
      • Aaron
        Participant
        Chirps: 16
        A.M.Bradley
        Yes that is a female American Redstart.
    • Nicole
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      rosie2020
      1. It is really very interesting to see the migration paths and patterns that each bird takes. The northern cardinal, as a whole stays in the same regions (cover a good part of north America) pretty much throughout the entire year whereas the western blackburnian warbler covers a huge territory range from south America to Canada but resides in a small territory during non-migration season. The scarlet tanager’s territory range is much smaller when it in the southern regions but expands quite a bit when it goes north and becomes more plentiful. Whereas, the western tanager really stays to the west, closer to the coast only. A small percentage of the ruby hummingbirds remain in Florida throught the year, the others head northeast (North America). While the Rufous stays by the west coast only, whether its south for the winter or up north during the summer. The sandhill crane’s population stays condensed in the winter months; some stay in Florida but during the summer their “home turf” is quite vast.  And the yellow-bellied flycatcher is also much more condensed in the winter in Central America and heads north skipping the southeast US but on its trip back south does spend time there. 2. Year round I see mallards, mourning doves and red-bellied woodpeckers (Westchester, NY). Whereas some of our part-time visitors are the Green Heron which I saw for the first time near home just yesterday, the ruby-throated hummingbird and the dark eyed junco. The dark-eyed junco is our winter resident and so does the reverse commute. 3. During the winter or cooler months the birds’ feather colors are not nearly as vibrant as they are in the warmer months, especially mating season. The duller hues may also help them camouflage. And as is typically the case the males are the more colorful of the pair but may look a lot more like their female counterparts in the “off season”. Many times juveniles look similar as well making it sometimes hard to distinguish who is who. 4. Since this is my first real season paying close attention to my bird neighbors I am still learning who I will typically see during this time. I learn about a new bird in my area multiple times a week- even more with this class. I can’t wait to really put on my looking glasses as the seasons change and the birds reverse commute in the fall. There is something new to see and learn every day!! DSCN4613
    • Richard
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      rspayne
      Different Seasons Different birds: Better shot of suspected Palm WarblerP3290383
    • Richard
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      rspayne
      Activity 4, Different Birds Different SeasonsThe easiest spot for me to observe birds is my back porches both in MA and FL. Florida changes in subtle ways over the 7 months or so that I stay here.  If I look out 100 meters there is a tall pine tree in the middle of a park that has a commanding view of the field underneath and around it.  There, I see mostly birds that are year round dwellers and mostly larger birds.  From cowbirds and grackles (who populate the supermarket parking lot I use), to Bald Eagle and hawks of which I have identified Coopers Hawk (shown below) and Bald Eagle. I also see Red Tail and Ospreys and Swallow Tale Kite fly as there is a river next to the field and quite a bit of assorted prey like squirrel sand rabbits and song birds that feed on the shrubs and grasses (and their bugs) in the park.Coopers Hawk side2 In the few years we have lived there I have also seen numerous small birds that sometimes are numerous in the trees, and sometimes not.  Merlin helped me identify this years photographable birds.  I got a 2X tele extender to magnify my 150 mm lens and caught three transient warblers.  Black and White Warbler was easily identified along with a great crested flycatcher who might be year-round.  Two other likely candidates are shown below.  I think one is a Palm Warbler the other is a Yellow Rumped Warbler.yellow warbler rear view? warbler-yellow? Warblers are hard.  I need to take a whole course on them and get the associated calls implanted in my head if I want to get better at them.  I have recorded several songs but found no sound identifiers that work for birds like Shazam does for recorded human music.  If anyone has a good song identifier for birds let me know.  I am using Merlin to guess and listen and it is not great.
    • Julie
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      juliehoskins
      Activity 2 - Using Merlin, three species that I see often that are here year round are the House Sparrow, the American Crow, and the Mourning Dove. Not very exotic, I know! The Cedar Waxwing is only here during the non breeding part of the year, and I have seen those here, very beautiful. Have not yet found two others that are here seasonally - will keep looking!
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Missesmary
      I perused the migration site and was interested to see the sandhill cranes patterns, and the great variety of areas they go to.  I saw some this year for the first time and wondered about their migratory patterns.  I did not know they mainly migrated at night! We need to advocate for birds in our communities.
    • Julie
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      juliehoskins
      Lesson 1 - When I look at the maps for the birds in lesson 1, I see this: Northern Cardinal - some seasonal variation, but primarily stays in the lower mid-west and southeastern U.S throughout the year.  The Blackburnian Warbler - does a huge migration from lower South America in the winter months, north through the United States and up to Canada in the summer months. Scarlet Tanager- Winters in southern South America, and travels through the southern U.S. up through the eastern mid west to southern Canada for the summer months.  The Western Tanager - winters in Central America and Mexico, then migrates through the Western U.S. up to western Canada for the summer. That's why the are called Western...I should see these in my neighborhood for the next few months - I will keep an eye out! Ruby-throated hummingbird - Also winters in Central America and Mexico, then travels through the entire western U.S. when migrating, reaching Southern Canada.   The Rufous Hummingbird - winters in the western part of Central America and Mexico, then sticks to the west coast when migrating up to north west Canada. Also in my neighborhood this time of year! The Sandhill Crane - spends the winter in Texas and Florida and the Indiana/Michigan area. Also in parts of California, I then does a complete migration up through the mid-west predominantly, with some members of the species reaching Alaska and northern Canada in the summer. Although some remain around the Great Lakes and other areas. The Yellow-Bellied Fly Catcher winters in Central America, then seems to fly across the Gulf of Mexico starting late spring, around May, through Texas to the Great Lakes Region, and into New England and Eastern Canada for the summer. How did each species determine its path? This is fascinating.
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      jenjohns
      I always see Cardinals, Carolina Chickadees & Tufted Titmouse at my feeders but recently I have been visited by 3 new birds that I’ve never seen in my yard before: a female Common Yellowthroat (photo; ID by Merlin), a Black & White Warbler and several Ovenbirds  The Yellowthroats live year round in Florida (I will be looking out for them now!) but the Black & White Warbler is only in Florida during the winter & Ovenbirds were migrating. 93BCDAD9-B9D6-4067-BA3C-B32C34FCE67A
    • susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      stangen
      The birds I see year round, to name a few, include Black-capped Chickadee, House Spaarows, House Finches, Northern Cardinals. The ones I noticed lately that migrated in are the Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole and Gray Catbird.  The Grosbeak and Orioles arrived at the same time.  There was a male and a female Grosbeak and 3 male and 1 female Oriole in the yard for a couple weeks.  I have not seen them for 4 days now.  This happens every year.  They come for a couple weeks, then I don’t see them.   I live in the city, with a small lot but have a lot of trees and understory vegetation. What environment do these birds need to breed? After the Grosbeak and the oriole leave, the Gray Catbird showed up in the yard.  I live in Wisconsin along Lake Michigan, the map shows that the Gray Catbird is a year round resident along the lake, but I usually only see it in the yard in spring.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Lucylocket
      Most of the birds I see in my area now are usually there year round but here are a few that will migrate. I don't actually see most of these, however. The Golden-crowned sparrow is here now but will leave in the summer. The Bufflehead leaves now and returns in the fall. The Lincoln's sparrow leaves for the summer and returns in the fall. We have a lot of Violet Green Swallows now but they will leave for the winter as well as the Common Yellowthroat and the Black-headed Grosbeak. I've never see the last two mentioned nor the Bufflehead but would like to search for them.
    • Mary Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      makelly415
      Activity 2 - Westchester, NY Year-round: Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee Visitors: Yellow-rumpled Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, Baltimore Oriole Activity 3 Male Goldfinch: Winter- drab brown colors, Summer- bright yellow Common Loons: Winter- partial collar, brownish, Summer- bright collar and checkered-board back Activity 4 - Croton Point Park, Westchester, NY A birding hotspot Using ebird.org, today(May 15th), some of the species seen are: Purple Martin Canada Greece Least Flycatcher Blue-headed Vireo Northern Rough-winged Swallow European Starling Gray Catbird Swainson ‘s Thrush Yellow Warbler Chestnut-sided Warbler Indigo Bunting   and much more! A lot of these will not be here in the winter- purple martins, warblers, Indigo Bunting!!!  
    • Mary Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      makelly415
      Hi - Activity One Northern Cardinal with Blackburnian Warble- Really interesting to use the animated abundance maps. Cardinals are around here (NY) all year while the Blackburnian  Warbler leaves to go back home to South America. Scarlet Tanager with Western Tanager- the Scarlet only migrates on the east coast while the Western Tanager stays on the west coast. Ruby-throated Hummingbird with Rufous  Hummingbird - another surprise- east vs west coast migrations Sandhill Crane with Yellow-bellied Flycatcher- both birds migrate much further north than the others mentioned. The Sandhill Crane mostly moves thru the middle of the country, while the Yellow-bellied Flycatchers seem to the be more eastern. The Sandhill Cranes go all the way up to Alaska.
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      LauraBea
      Before this course I used to wonder why Cardinals were so often pictured in the snow on Christmas cards. Now I know why, they hang around all year! I have found this lesson on migration and viewing the animated migration maps to be fascinating. One of my favorite months to be outdoors is October and yet I now see from the Migration map that many birds are no longer around in the US, having already headed south. I will keep that in mind when I am in the outdoors in a few months. I had no idea about the changing colors of the feathers either. It will make identifying the birds more challenging later in the year when their colors are more muted. All the more reason to learn to identify the birds by their songs and calls.
    • Richard
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      rspayne
      P3290383Palm Warbler P3220368 Black and With WarblerP2050242 Yellow-rumped Warbler? Different Seasons, Different Birds, Activity 2, Some who stay and some who only visit. I am a “snowbird”.  I have been a Florida resident for last 7 years who stays here in the winter and journeys north to MA for 5 months in the summer. I noticed this year that my Live Oak trees right outside my lanai were full of small birds in Jan-March time frame but a little more-empty now that it is May.  I looked through my pictures and also looked through the very long list Merlin provided to me and now better understand the reason.  Some of the birds I found in the Warbler family were in the migration window when I saw them .  They included a Palm Warbler, a Black and White Warbler and a Yellow Rumped Warbler or Common Yellowthroat.  All show a presence in February and March and an absence in May With the abundance of water and aquatic food, we have a wide variety of wading and fishing birds.   The Great egret (my favorite) actually has a migrating population and a static population.  I know Canada Geese have similar migrating and non migrating groups. Hence I can see Great Egrets all the time I am in FL and most of the time in MA.  They seem to frequent a large portion of North and South America.  It is hard from the animations in e-bird to see where the summer population in Massachusetts actually comes from.  Most of my good bird books are in MA so I will have to do some digging to understand migration paths. One of the birds I see only rarely is the White Pelican (no good pictures) ..  I have seen them in Ding Darling refuge on Sanibel and occasionally when fishing in Bonita Bay.  E-bird shows a more complete picture of migration from concentrations in FL and more sparsely Mexico to South America in the winter and up the Mississippi valley to a broad part of the northern US, especially around the Great Lakes.  Getting to know Merlin and e-bird has made it a lot faster to both identify and explore about birds than my long term reliance on field guides.  Having participated in the Digital Revolution myself, I appreciate the immense improvements in information access for the birds.
    • Richard
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      rspayne
      P5110053 These cardinals probably stay in my neighborhood all year.  They couple for life from my reading and are the species most likely to be able to photograph the male and female together around here.   Different Seasons Different Birds, Actvity 1, compare migrations of selected pairs Northern Cardinal with Blackburnian Warbler Northern Cardinal has a very static range.  There are minor fluctuations around the fringes and within the main body of the population in the eastern 2/3 of the USA.  There are also populations in southern CA, Nevada, Mexico (mostly coastal) and out into the Gulf coastal extensions of central America. Blackburnian Warbler is a long migrator who moves from the tropical highlands of the northern parts of South America (south of where the Cardinal winters in what looks like somewhat cooler regions). And flies largely north of the heartland of the Cardinal’s range.  They appear to overlap only in the summer in central to northern New England in the hillier parts of that region. I can recommend a summer drive on route 100 through the middle of Vermont if you want to see some beautiful country and have a chance to see both birds. Scarlet Tanager with Western Tanager Scarlet Tanager and Western Tanager do an East West split on the United States.  Their summer ranges give a reasonable wide birth to the central plains of the USA.. Western goes from west coast and highlands of Mexico and Central America in winter months to a broad swath of the Western USA and Western Provinces of Canada.  The Scarlet  goes further south into Western highlands of Bolivia Nicaragua and Equador and Western Brazil.  It migrates north oove rCozumel and the western edge of Cuba over to Florida and settles in the northern 2/3 of the Eastern 1/3 of the US pretty much over a large part of the Applachian Trail.  They seem to have very little overlap so it would be very rare to see the two in one location. Ruby-throated Hummingbird with Rufous Hummingbird Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the only hummingbird that makes its way to Massachusetts in the summer.  I have one family that started visiting me the summer of 2018 when I was on my porch a lot due to radiation treatments and the recovery process.  They had a single baby who I guessed was a female and loved my lantana.  2019 I added a feeder but am not sure they had a successful brood as I didn’t see the juvenile.  They winter in Mexico and Central America and migrate to the whole eastern half of USA and most of southern Canada East of the Rockies.  The Rufous winters in the northern half of the Ruby Throated’s range in Mexico but pretty much sticks to the Pacific coastal region for migration and breeding up in the Washington Oregon regions.  Its path home looks to take a less coastal path visiting Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico on its way back to Mexico wintering. Need to go Pacific side of Mexico below Baja to see them both in the winter. Sandhill Crane with Yellow-bellied Flycatcher no confusing these. Sandhill Crane sticks mostly to the USA and Canada including Alaska.  It winters over in the US and travels to a brad swath of Canada in the breeding season.  The flycatcher spends the winter in Central America and heads north mostly in the northeast USA and southeast Canada.  A branch seems to take a brief trip to the eastern side of Alaska.  Need to read more about them.  To see both birds on the same trip one would have to go to southern Canada between the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay. I really like the animation tool.  I saw several warblers briefly in F this winter and now know it was migration time (March and April).  That will set me up for Activity 2.
    • Marlene
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      mg47831
      Many of the “Likely Birds” in my region for the month of May are viewable from my home in the woods in Northeast Wisconsin. In the last two days I have seen some new ones enter the yard. Three indigo buntings just came in today. They seem to come in mid May every year. The Baltimore Oriole came in about a week ago. I have seen two sets, male & females. The end of April brought the Eastern Bluebirds. At least two sets of males & females. The Chickadees, Blue Jays and Red breasted Nuthatch are here too, and all year round. 20200514_194052[1] 20200514_175330[1]
      • Cathy
        Participant
        Chirps: 37
        cgtv123
        Nice pictures, Marlene.  I'd love to see these types of birds.  I live in Maryland and, although they are within range, I don't think I've ever seen these.  I am originally from Illinois, but still don't think I've seen them there either.  Thanks for sharing.
    • Joy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      joy bird
      In comparing photos of American Goldfinches and Common Loons taken in summer and winter, I am struck with the vibrancy of their colors in summer and the almost "dressed down" look in winter. The rich yellow hue dominates the Goldfinch's breast and back in summer, along with a black cap. The black and white wings and tail offer a sharp contrast to the yellow. In winter, the black cap is missing and the yellow is faded to a dull brown on the back with a faded whitened yellow and/or brown tones on the breast. Wings and tail feathers look similar in both seasons. In summer, the Common Loon looks dapper with its black and white pinstripes separated by an emerald green band. The throat has a black and white curve. The red eye is striking. In winter, dulled browns and white dominate and the eye doesn't seem to be as striking in color. What surprised me was that photos of the winter Loon did not identify sex, usually indicating "Unknown."
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Mary Kurtz
      1. I was very intrigued studying these migratory patterns. I had no idea the Cardinal was so specific to the eastern United States; that some birds migrate through our area on the way north and some, like the Rufous Hummingbird, come through on the way south; and that, while the Sandhill Crane is frequent here, it's prevalence is higher north of here. Knowing these migratory patterns will help me know what to look for and be able to find some of these species later this summer. I look forward to it!
    • Richard
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      rspayne
      Different Seasons Different Birds, Actvity 1, compare migrations of selected pairs Northern Cardinal with Blackburnian Warbler Northern Cardinal has a very static range.  There are minor fluctuations around the fringes and within the main body of the population in the eastern 2/3 of the USA.  There are also populations in southern CA, Nevada, Mexico (mostly coastal) and out into the Gulf coastal extensions of central America. Blackburnian Warbler is a long migrator who moves from the tropical highlands of the northern parts of South America (south of where the Cardinal winters in what looks like somewhat cooler regions). And flies largely north of the heartland of the Cardinal’s range.  They appear to overlap only in the summer in central to northern New England in the hillier parts of that region. I can recommend a summer drive on route 100 through the middle of Vermont if you want to see some beautiful country and have a chance to see both birds. Scarlet Tanager with Western Tanager Scarlet Tanager and Western Tanager do an East West split on the United States.  Their summer ranges give a reasonable wide birth to the central plains of the USA.. Western goes from west coast and highlands of Mexico and Central America in winter months to a broad swath of the Western USA and Western Provinces of Canada.  The Scarlet  goes further south into Eastern highlands of Bolivia Nicaragua and Equador and Western Brazil.  It migrates north over Cozumel and the western edge of Cuba over to Florida and settles in the northern 2/3 of the Eastern 1/3 of the US pretty much over a large part of the Applachian Trail.  They seem to have very little overlap so it would be very rare to see the two in one location. Ruby-throated Hummingbird with Rufous Hummingbird Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the only hummingbird that makes its way to Massachusetts in the summer.  I have one family that started visiting me the summer of 2018 when I was on my porch a lot due to radiation treatments and the recovery process.  They had a single baby who I guessed was a female and loved my lantana.  2019 I added a feeder but am not sure they had a successful brood as I didn’t see the juvenile.  They winter in Mexico and Central America and migrate to the whole eastern half of USA and most of southern Canada East of the Rockies.  The Rufous winters in the northern half of the Ruby Throated’s range in Mexico but pretty much sticks to the Pacific coastal region for migration and breeding up in the Washington Oregon regions.  Its path home looks to take a less coastal path visiting Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico on its way back to Mexico wintering. Need to go Pacific side of Mexico below Baja to see them both in the winter. Sandhill Crane with Yellow-bellied Flycatcher no confusing these. Sandhill Crane sticks mostly to the USA and Canada including Alaska.  It winters over in the US and travels to a brad swath of Canada in the breeding season.  The flycatcher spends the winter in Central America and heads north mostly in the northeast USA and southeast Canada.  A branch seems to take a brief trip to the eastern side of Alaska.  Need to read more about them.  To see both birds on the same trip one would have to go to southern Canada between the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay. I really like the animation tool.  I saw several warblers briefly in F this winter and now know it was mib=gration time (March and April).
    • Richard
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      rspayne
      This was extracurricular activity  My wife found this spot on a walk  It has had “lots of white birds”  Today it had about 15 white ibis and a tricolor heron (new bird for me)  Yesterday it had only 5 ibis but also a great blue heron, a little blue heron, a snowy egret and 2 gallinules   A88AE70A-02FB-4EE5-BDD5-863631771A60
    • Charlotte
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Cnemeth
      Cardinals, woodpeckers and blue jays are year round residents but now visiting us here in northern New Jersey are the Baltimore orioles, rose breasted grosbeaks and ruby throated hummingbirds, all so beautiful to see.
    • Brad
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      bmiles33
      The likely birds feature in Merlin is very cool.  During our stay at home time I have been able to keep an eye on my feeder much more than normal and see some of the trends on likely birds happening right in front of my eyes.
      • Marlene
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        mg47831
        Hi Brad. We have had the same great bird watching experience this year. Having to stay at home has provided us the opportunity to view more birds than we have in a long time. Today was extraordinary in our yard. I haven't seen so many beautiful and colorful birds altogether at one time as we did today. Cardinal, Easter Bluebirds, American Goldfinches (about 10 zipping around), 3 Blue Indigo Buntings, Red Breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, Red Bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jays, Downy Woodpecker, and Black Capped Chickadees. All in the yard at about 1:45pm CST today. It was quite a site. From Northeast Wisconsin.
    • Jill
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      jluccaHR
      IMG_3423These activities tasked us to more fully explore the e-Bird site. (Activity 1) The Sandhill crane was just sited by my daughter traveling north from 200 miles away. We tracked the migration pattern and noted why we have to travel from our home to see them. (Activity 2) Black-capped chickadees, woodpeckers, & dark-eyed juncos are in abundance year round in our neighborhood. Whereas mallards, trumpeter swans, and Canadian Geese are seasonal residents. The latter seem to take ownership of most urban parks in Minnesota Spring, Summer, & Fall. We visited a National Wildlife Refuge Center this past week to spot the migrating mallards, hawks, turkey vultures, American White Pelicans, Cliff/ Barn, or Tree Swallows (they flit around too fast to note differences!), blue jays, and ruffed grouse. (Activity 3) The Macaulay Library opened our eyes to the seasonal differences in one particular bird whereas we'd previously noted only male/female differences.
    • Link
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Leafblade61
      Activity 4: Right now, I expect to find House Finches, and a few Lesser Goldfinches. In six months, I'd still expect to find house finches, but I wouldn't see any Lesser Goldfinches. Instead, I might see Cedar Waxwings.
    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      CathyBonnett
      IMG_0007 3IMG_0008 2IMG_0006 2The White-crowned Sparrow, the Double-crested Cormorant, and the California Quail are all ubiquitous where I live.  I was surprised that the California Quail seems to be the least common bird of the three.  I learned that it is also found in South America in an area that has a similar climate. The Double-crested Cormorant is found all over the country and I had assumed that it was a bird only found near the ocean.  The White-crowned Sparrow is pretty common, but seems to follow the warmer weather.
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      dbagwell
      I was looking at the activity about comparing the appearances of a common loon.  I noticed that the eyes were  bright red in the first half of the year and they seemed to change  in the last half of the year(dark red or black).  Is this a fact or is it due to the lighting conditions that affect photographic results due to the change in seasons?
    • Annie
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      akiene
      EXR7ROpXkAAwnWo Activity 4: My favorite birding spot is also the easiest for me - my backyard! Six months from now, I'll still see cardinals, crows, and woodpeckers, but my hummingbird friends will likely be all (or mostly) gone for the season. There is a also a Summer Tanager visiting right now who will be wintering in Central or South America. I am definitely enjoying watching him for now though!
    • Danya
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      dfurda
      Activity 1:  The migration videos show me why I always see Cardinals but only have a limited window to see Blackburnian Warblers, Scarlet Tanagers, and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers and will never see a Western Tanager or Rufous Hummingbird unless I vacation out west.  Activity 2: Three year-round resident birds for my area (Columbus, Ohio) are Eastern Bluebird, Carolina Chickadee, and White-breasted Nuthatch.  Three birds that only live in my area for part of the year are Eastern Kingbird, Indigo Bunting, and American Redstart.  Activity 3:  Both the Male American Goldfinches and Common Loons have more vivid coloring in the summer months than in the winter.  Since I have Goldfinches at my feeders year-round, I have noticed this with them.   Activity 4: I don't just have one favorite birding spot, but I know I can count on seeing Yellow Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Baltimore Orioles right now.  In six months I could see Cedar Waxwings, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets.  I can see Wild Turkeys year-round and right now they are very easy to spot at Blendon Woods Metro Park. 08-IMG_4931
      • Cathy
        Participant
        Chirps: 37
        cgtv123
        Cool turkey pictures, Danya.   When I have seen wild turkeys in Maryland, they were more drab and not 'puffed up' like that.  I wonder if these are breeding colors, as the red neck on the bird in your photo is quite striking.  Thanks for sharing.
    • W. John
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      charlottelass
      [3] The American Goldfinches right now are in the process of exchanging their olive/tan winter plumage for the more enticing brilliant yellow plumage. Their wing-bars remain evident in both seasons although the bill does change colour. I find them at my feeders in both seasons although more frequently in the winter. They seem to prefer nyjer during the winter. I only see loons during the summer when visiting a friend's cottage in northern Ontario near Algonquin Park. During the summer, they are a beautiful black and white with a black necklace and brown head. The pictures of them during the winter that I found on your website show them to be more uniformly grey with a greyer bill. Had I not taken the time to look, I would not have recognised this bird during the off-season.
    • W. John
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      charlottelass
      [2] Three birds that I can count on being here all year are the Cooper's Hawk, the Northern Cardinal and the Black-capped Chickadee. The look and sound the same all year, although I find the chickadees tends to be a more faithful visitors to my feeders during the snowy months. At this time of year, they tend to expand their range and depend less on my feeders. This month, I had a pair of new visitors arrive rather early from their migration: a pair of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. They stayed for a couple of days but have not been seen since. The White-crowned Sparrows and the White-throated Sparrows have been here before and can always be counted on to feed under my feeders. Once the Covid situation has resolved itself, whenever that might be, I would like to head to the park by the St Clair River in order to take part in some high-quality birding and to enjoy the arrival of the warblers. Alas, all of our parks have been closed since the beginning of the Covid issue.
    • W. John
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      charlottelass
      [4] Right now, my favourite birding location is the abandoned orchard that is a three-minute walk from my house, which is a stone's throw from the extreme southern end of Lake Huron. The area in question is now filled in large part with secondary-growth forest and is a haven for many species of birds, including my faithful friend, the Cooper's Hawk, who likes to visit my backyard frequently. Right now, unless the expected polar vortex hits and drops snow on the area, we are on the cusp of the return of a large wave of migratory birds. Most of my migratory winter birds have left -- I haven't seen a Junco in days -- and I am beginning to see the return of old friends like the White-crowned Sparrow. When fall returns, I expect to see the opposite playing itself out: my summer friends will begin to leave and my winter friends will begin to return. Although I love all of my birds, I do look forward, as I have now for sixteen years, the return of Project Feederwatch in the fall.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      kbarlow
      Activity 4: In six months, it will be November and I will still be seeing Cardinals, Chickadees, and Hairy Woodpeckers at my feeders. The Pileated Woodpeckers will still be heard drumming in the woods, and will occasionally be seen at the feeders. In the hedgerows, I will no longer see Kingbirds, Blue Grosbeak, or Ruby throated Hummingbirds and Eastern Wood-Pewees. Our barn swallows will have left. The Goldfinches will still be here, but will be much more difficult to spot in their duller plumage. The Mourning doves will still be here, as will the Turkeys, and the Bald Eagles, but I probably will not see them as frequently as I am currently.
    • W. John
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      charlottelass
      [1] I paid particular attention to the birds that fly up through Point Pelee in the Great Lakes because I live two hours north of there on the Canadian side of the southern end of Lake Huron. I noted the vast numbers of birds that are funnelled through that gateway to the north. I also noted the large numbers of birds that skirt the western edge of the Great Lakes and head north into the prairie provinces. I was particularly struck by the invisible dividing line that the central portion of the American mainland seems to be for migrating birds. It is as if western birds spread out with some heading into the central portion of the continent and eastern birds doing the same. That likely explains some of the interbreeding that I read about.
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 31
      sg333
      Activity 4: In Central British Columbia we have a few months of cold weather, so the number of species, and number of those staying the winter decrease considerably. I get really tired of taking pictures of Canadian Geese in the winter. Fortunately spring comes early. Winter: Canadian Geese, Song and House Sparrow, Starlings, my favorite Black-capped Chickadee (I am working on locating them by song), American Crow (some really large ones). There are a few others, but not seen in the city normally. We have a few Alaskan swans that winter here. So nice to see. Summer: Oh boy! So many. How do they do it? American Robins and Red-winged Blackbirds are the first to show up (Blackbirds mainly around our marshes). Our early spring brings so many in April and May: Mallards, Northern Flicker, California Quail (they are so cute, but my mom complains they dig up the garden), American Goldfinch, House finch (this is the largest finch i have seen), just saw a group of Violet-green Swallows for the first time, I love the soft sound of the Mourning Dove, American Coots, the Osprey are a big deal nesting in our city right now. There are so many; and i have seen so many new to me already this spring. DilwMar2020 (2)DilwMar2020 (12)RtryApr2020 (28)
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 31
      sg333
      cedar creek (18)kalamoir 2019 (1)Activity 3: It is incredible the difference in colors in different seasons. It makes sense that many birds are less colorful in the winter for camouflage. We do not have either species in our area in the winter. It is interesting that the males are more colorful than females in summer. The color and markings are so vibrant, and I guess pleasing to the females. Is it also that birds in colder winter climates have extra feathers to keep warm? It would make sense. I am going to look that up. In the human race it is the females that decorate to attract males. Funny.
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 31
      sg333
      Activity 2: Canada Geese: Many stay in central British Columbia year round. Sparrows and Starlings: some House Sparrows stay over the winter, as do many Starlings. Winter is not too long where we are. I have seen so many varieties this spring! Spring comes early here, and many species have been back for more than a month. For us the first to arrive are Robins and Red-winged Blackbirds. I feel fortunate to have seen many rare ones already this year; Cinnamon Duck, Wood Duck, Blue-headed Mallard, Ruddy Ducks, and more. The breeding Osprey are a big event here.
    • Manyu
      Participant
      Chirps: 42
      SManyu
      Activity 3 : - Male American Goldfinches in summer and winter During winter the black crown is gone, bright yellow color is gone, the color of bill has changed. Wings and tail patterns remain same.   Common Loons in summer and winter During winters only things that looks same to me is the color of eyes.
    • Manyu
      Participant
      Chirps: 42
      SManyu
      Activity 4 - Hope to see Mallard, Great white Pelican and Osprey in October.
    • Manyu
      Participant
      Chirps: 42
      SManyu
      Activity 1 Northern Cardinal with Blackburnian Warbler
      • Northern Cardinal   - Looks like they are non-migratory birds.
      • Blackburnian Warbler - Start moving from north part of south America after April. They are abundant in north eastern USA from June to August then again move towards south America.
      Scarlet Tanager with Western Tanager
      • Scarlet Tanager - During non breeding season abundant in north eastern South America. Then move towards USA and breed in central to eastern part of USA. Post breeding migration start from September and they reach north eastern South America by December.
      • Western Tanager - During non breeding season which looks longer than Scarlet tanager i.e Nov. to Mar. they are abundant in southern part of North America. April - June they migrate, they breed in western part of USA and Canada. Breeding period is very short,a month and they start moving towards south of North America within a month
      Ruby-throated Hummingbird with Rufous Hummingbird
      • Ruby-Throated Hummingbird - Non-breeding season and range are similar to Western Tanager i.e Nov. to March abundant in southern parts of North America. Mar - May is migration and breeding grounds are spread over from central to eastern USA, grounds are similar to Scarlet Tanager though the breeding period is smaller and Ruby-throated Hummingbird starts moving to non breeding range from Aug.
      • Rufous Hummingbird - Non-breeding season Nov. to mid Feb in central Mexico. Migration period is Feb- April and they move parallel to the western coast of North America. Short breeding mid May to mid June period and range is North western USA and western Canada.
      Sandhill Crane with Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
      • Sandhill Crane - Short non breeding period , range is so scattered. During a four month long migration they are everywhere , there is no patter in the movement. Long breeding season and they breed all-over northern USA and Canada.
      • Yellow-bellied Flycatcher- Such long non breeding season, almost half a year mid Nov. - mid April. Very short breeding season they breed in the lands north of USA.
    • Manyu
      Participant
      Chirps: 42
      SManyu
      Namaste to all, Activity 2 - Year round birds - Indian spot billed duck, Green bee-eater and Indian pond-heron Seasonal birds - White-naped woodpecker,Indian Golden Oriole and Pied Avocet.   Have seen white- naped woodpecker and Indian golden oriole. A co-worker who knew about my interest in birds clicked a picture of Indian golden oriole for me. It stayed in office premises for couple of days.
    • Kara
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      KaraElizabeth
      Activity 3 Male American Goldfinch- Throughout both summer and winter, the Goldfinch maintains its golden colour but its vibrancy changes with seasonality.  In the summer, the Goldfinch is  vibrant yellow throughout its body, with a distinct black patch on its crown and black and white wings.  In contrast, the winter Goldfinch is a dull yellow, with black and white wings and notably absent is the black patch on its crown.   Common Loons- The difference between a Common Loon in the summer as compared to the winter is quite striking.  In the summer they have a black and white checkered back, an iridescent black head with red eyes.  The loon's neck is distinct with a black and white striped ring, followed by another ring of iridescent black.   In the winter, all the regal colouring of the summer is muted to a grey and the red eyes are black.
    • Ed
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      eclarkpca
      In my area of rural Northeast Texas an ad lib Activity:  I have a peanut feeder and see 5 birds there. Carolina chickadee ,Carolina Wren, White-breasted nuthatch, downy woodpecker and Tufted Titmouse.  On my seed feeder I see Cardinals, white crowned sparrows, white necked sparrows.  Rarely see a house finch.  On the ground I see a brown thrashers, blue jays,  and a mourning dove pair.  Most exciting for me is a pair of black-bellied whistling ducks  Began coming to a pond near town 4 to 5 years ago at approximately the same time. They are really beautiful. Saw some red winged blackbirds at same pond yesterday.  Year round we have some Canada geese there also.
    • Kara
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      KaraElizabeth
      Activity 2 In my area my year-round residents are; The Northern Cardinal, The Canada Goose, and the Black-capped Chickadee.  In the city I see Canada Geese and Cardinals daily, but If I want to see a Chickadee I need to go to the Bruce Trail or a Conservation area.  My occasional residents are; the Baltimore Oriole, The American Redstart, and the Eastern Kingbird.  Of those, I have only seen the Baltimore Oriole a few years back when my neighbour had a cherry tree in the backyard.
    • Kara
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      KaraElizabeth
      Activity 1 Northern Cardinal vs. Blackburnian Warbler The Cardinal tends to stay in North America whereas the Blackburnian Warblers spend their winters in South American and migrate North in mid spring, heading back south in the fall.   Scarlet Tanager vs.Western Tanager The Scarlet Tanager winters in South America.  In the Spring it makes its way across the Eastern half of the United States and up to Eastern Canada for the summer months until it again migrates South for the  winter.  The Western Tanager winters in Mexico and Central America.  In the spring they migrate to the Western half of the United States and Western Canada. Ruby-throated Hummingbird vs. Rufous Hummingbird The Ruby-throated Hummingbird winters in Mexico and Central America, with isolated pockets in Florida.  In the Spring they migrate across the Gulf and up to the Eastern half of the United States, up into Canada where they are found in the Eastern, Prairie, and Western Provinces. The Rufous Hummingbird Winters in Mexico and Central America.  In the spring it migrates North following the West Coast of the United States up into Canada.  On its migration South it covers a wider geographical area.  
    • Jason
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Jason Stanley
      Activity 1: some birds have very long migrations based on the seasons, while others, like the Northern Cardinal, seem to stay put more or less throughout the year. Some birds migrate from the same starting point along very different paths, with some opting for a route over the Gulf of Mexico and up the east coast, for example, while others moving up the west coast. Activity 2: I live in Montreal. I've become quite fascinated with the bar charts and range maps available in Merlin lately. Three birds that are found in my area throughout the year and that I've seen lately: Mallard; American Crow; and Northern Cardinal. Three birds that only live in my area for part of the year: Tree Swallow; Double-Crested Cormorant; and Great Egret. I've seen all three of these in the past month! I'm really fascinated by the Great Egret's range map. Usually range maps for migratory species have a migration zone that connects a breeding zone and a year-round or non-breeding zone. But for the Great Egret, the migration zone is actually further north than all other zones (year-round, non-breeding, and breeding). What the heck are they doing migrating well beyond their breeding areas? Activity 3: summer season is clearly the season for getting dressed up. It's like the prom! Both birds have the same base color schemes in summer and winter, but the summer plumage is sharper, brighter, more demarcated and decorated. I've only just started paying close attention to birds around me, despite having loved the outdoors and nature my whole life. I'm interested to see how hard it will be to identify birds once plumages for my regular sightings start changing. Already, it's hard to differentiate male and female when plumage varies considerably, not to mention immature birds; so when all of their plumages start changing in different directions later in the year -- that's going to be a challenge. But I look forward to it. Activity 4: My favorite birding spot is probably the birding spot that I haven't been to yet -- the far north, the coastal waters where I grew up but no longer live, deep boreal forest -- these places are ones I dream about being in to see what's there. But my most regular birding spots hold a different kind of special place in my heart. I love getting to know a place deeply by spending a lot of time there. I have a place I go to several times a day for walks and that I've gotten to know in much deeper ways since I've started paying attention to what birds show up, and doing some reading in Merlin and elsewhere on what is likely to appear at different times of the year. Right now, that spot is dominated by Red-Winged Blackbirds, Song Sparrows, Great Blue Herons, Double-Crested Cormorants, Mallards, Ring-Billed Gulls, Tree Swallows, and others. Interestingly, in six months, the mix of birds that people typically see at this site seems to be very similar. Birds that migrate away from here will be back on their southward migration in about six months (e.g., Buffleheads, Common Goldeneye). The Tree Swallow is one of the few examples of a bird that is here now but who probably won't be around in six months.
    • Rosemary
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      stagero
      At my favorite spot, in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in the Spring I will see Robins, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Sparrows, Canada Geese, Mourning Doves, Downy Woodpeckers, Mallards, Green Herons and Great Blue Herons.  As it becomes Summer I will see Goldfinches and then when it turns to Winter the Robins, Goldfinches, Green Heron  and Great Blue Herons migrate South and are replaced with Tufted Titmice, Dark eyed Juncos and Carolina Chickadees.
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      glomdoc
      Activity 2: 3 species that are present year round in my area are Northern cardinal, common grackle, and house finch, all of whom we see regularly. 3 species that are present for only part of the year (during breeding only) are the ruby-throated hummingbird (which we see at our feeders), tree swallow (which nests in our boxes), and chimney swift - which I don't recall ever seeing but now that I know to look for it I will! I'm enjoying all of these activities as they are making me much more aware of my surroundings!.
    • Robyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      RobFork
      1. Compare Ruby-throated Hummingbird with Rufous Hummingbird:  Ruby migrates up the East Coast of the US while Rufous migrates up the West Coast of the US. 2. In my area, year-round residents include an array of finches, sparrows, Robins, California Towhee, Dark-eye Junco, wrens, and Oak Titmouse.  Spring visitors include an array of warblers. 3.  Male American Goldfinches:  Summer--bright yellow plumage.  Winter--duller brownish/yellow plumage. 4.  My favorite birding spot is Los Gatos Creek trail.  I expect to find warbles and orioles right now in the trees at the end of April.  Early in the morning I would see Snowy Egrets and Black-crowned Night Herons, California Gulls, and Mallard Ducks on the Vasona Lake.  On the Vasona Park lawns, there are usually Canada Geese.  This time of year, I would anticipate seeing ducklings and goslings, too.  Due to the pandemic, I've been avoiding the trail--and hence the Lake park--because it gets very crowded . . . with everyone home--there has been more foot, bike, and scooter traffic on this narrow path.  Egrets, Night Herons, California Gulls, Mallards, and Canada Geese are year-round residents in our mild climate.
    • cindy
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      CindyFowler
      Activity 1: n Cardinal has a short migration in the eastern US vs the black warbler which has a long migration from South America to Canada. Scarlet Tánger and the Western Tánger have a long migration in North America but one is East Coast  and the other west Coast hummingbirds have a long migration with a East/west coast difference sandhill crane has a large migration but mostly in US (all the way to Alaska)
    • Paula
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Pklazrus
      In these activities I note that in the first birds compared the ranges are often very different. Either mostly east vs mostly west, or that one species migrates very little but the other has quite a wide range. In the second activity there are apparently a lot of birds that are in my area of the NE all year round. More than I thought.  On the other hand, there are also many seasonal birds some of which I have never seen nor even heard of so perhaps that's because I wasn't attentive to them 'seasonally'.  These would include the Ruby Crowned Kinglet, the Northern Parula  and the Yellow Rumped Warbler among others In the 3rd activity I see that the gold finches really change quite a bit from summer to winter. The first thing that struck me was that their bellies seem might lighter/whiter in color so the blend in better in the winter and they seem to loose the black cap on their heads.  Their beaks also change color becoming less bright.  It's amazing to me that their beaks can change color (but also seems to me to make identification that much more challenging). The loons also change color a lot. Their colors are intense black/white and blue or blue green in the summer but more gray and brown in the winter. They loose that distinctive black head in the winter as well as that blue collar and the prominent black and white patterning on their backs. I don't have a favorite spot yet, but there is a park near me that runs along an estuary and has marshes as well as trees and lawn so that might be a good place to look.  There are areas of woods and forest near me as well as marshes so I think I'll have to look up what should appear in each and then try and explore (when things open up again - right now all parks are closed by me).
    • Jay
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      PeanutJay
      Activity 2: This was a fun activity (modified slightly to focus on three instead of six birds)! The animated range maps add interesting dimensions to my bird watching: “when” and “where.” So, now, in addition to thinking about what I saw, I can also consider what I might -- or might not -- see next. Dark-eyed Junco in late March. This was one of the last times this year that I saw this inquisitive little fellow. According to the abundance animation (https://ebird.org/science/status-and-trends/daejun/abundance-map-weekly), they’ve largely migrated to the Northern United States and Canada by this time of year but should be returning in the fall. IMG_4753 American Goldfinch in early April. While not a good photo, this was the first time since last year that I’d seen these birds. According to the animation (https://ebird.org/science/status-and-trends/amegfi/abundance-map-weekly), however, they could be present in my area throughout the year. Perhaps nonbreeding plumage or an overall lower density in winter help explain their apparent absence. IMG_5191 Gray Catbird in late April. I remember seeing these dapper fellows last year and am pleased to have noted one’s arrival the other (rainy) day. According to the animation (https://ebird.org/science/status-and-trends/grycat/abundance-map-weekly), these birds spend the non-breeding season along the Gulf Coast, the Caribbean, and in parts of Central America before moving into the midwest and northeastern parts of the United States. IMG_5811 Travel safe, bird friends!
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      BarbaraGorski
      I have recently seen an American Goldfinch here with still winter plummage and was surprised at how bright yellow he will become.  The other surprise I had...I did not know that loons look so different in winter.  If I have seen them I don't think I would recognize them.  Thanks!
    • Sylvia
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      SylviaA
      Activity #1: I was interested to learn that the Northern Cardinal is a year-found bird in NE U.S. (the abundance didn't really change throughout the year); whereas the Blackburnian Warbler only summers in the NE U.S., while wintering in Northern South America. The tanagers were very different: the Scarlet Tanager is a migrant, living in the NE U.S. May-Sept, and wintering way down in northern and northwestern South America. The Western Tanager lives in western U.S. about May-Sept., and winters in Mexico and Central America (it doesn't go as far as the Scarlet Tanager). The ruby-throated hummer lives in the Eastern U.S. and southern Canada about May-Sept., and winters in southern Mexico and Central America...whereas the rufous hummer lives in western U.S. (NW mostly) May-Sept., and winters in southern Mexico. As for the sandhill cranes, they summer in northern Canada and Alaska (which surprised me), and winter in FL and TX; whereas the smaller yellow-bellied flycatchers summer way up in western Canada and NE U.S., and winter in Central America. Activity#2: I've seen the following three birds year round in NY: Northern Cardinal, Chickadee, and Rock Pigeon....although I didn't see many Chickadees this winter (someone said they were cyclical, so I hope we see more next winter.) Three birds I see onl part of the year are Scarlet Tanager (which winter in Central America); Wood Thrush, and Yellow Warbler, which winters in northern and Central America. Activity #3: In summer, NY Goldfinches have their black caps, and bright yellow breast and back. In winter, the black cap disappears, and their yellow is very pale. But, I noticed that the black wings with white wing bars stay year-round. As for the Common Loons: in summer, they have a dark black head, striped necklace, and checkered back; whereas in winter the black in the head and the checkered back are muted, and there's no necklace. The neck and breast are white. Activity#4: Now (April) in NYC's Inwood Hill Park, I'm seeing Northern Cardinals, Robins, Rock Pigeons, Starlings, Mockingbirds, Flickers, House Sparrows...the spring migration (which  I think peaks in May) hasn't really started yet. In six months, I'll probably see most of these same birds, many of which don't migrate. If I see migrating warblers in May, they won't be here in six months.
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      turnerjc50
      Being a beginning birder I don’t know species names so it is difficult to use ebirder quickly.Or maybe there is a trick to accessing common names to do a search.Thanks for any advice. Carol
      • Julian
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        FishIsTheWord
        Using eBird would be a loss for me without also using my Merlin BirdID app! I am new to bird watching, so before I go out I use Merlin to predict what birds I might see. It helped me today when I saw Harris's Sparrow. I knew it was a sparrow, but it had an "oil spill" on its face and neck that the House Sparrow doesn't have. Because I studied the birds in advance, it really helped me out! Then I was able to match that bird with the birdsong I had been hearing.
      • Cathy
        Participant
        Chirps: 37
        cgtv123
        Hi Carol:  I like Merlin too, and the explore birds option.  I also have a trusty field guide which I bought years ago.  It has lots of color pictures and it organizes birds by general category.  My book is rather old.  I remember wondering if I should buy it and am so glad I did!  There are many paper guides, I imagine, but mine is called "A Guide to Field Identification:  Birds of North America" by Golden Press publishers. The Cornell Lab also has alot of information about birds on it's website. I've always enjoyed watching birds but am really learning alot in this class. Good luck.
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