Bird Notes from West Houston

Monday, April 17, 2006

Spring Migration Report

It seems that we are having a lower than average spring migration. People from all parts of the state are reporting fewer migrants this year. I have certainly found that to be true on my property. The number of species is significantly lower than it was this time last year. I'm not sure what the cause is, but strongly suspect it's a combination of the drought and the strong south winds we've been having. The birds come in and find fewer insects because of the drought and move on. Some of them take full advantage of the tail-wind and keep on going north and don't even stop here.

Listed below are the migrant sightings from my property and the date the first one was seen so far this year:

3/29 - Great Crested Flycatcher
4/5 - Eastern Kingbird
3/19 - Yellow-throated Vireo
3/29 - Red-eyed Vireo
4/12 - Tree Swallow
3/26 - Northern Rough-winged Swallow
3/19 - Barn Swallow
4/12 - Veery
4/12 - Gray-cheeked Thrush
4/12 - Swainson's Thrush
4/5 - Wood Thrush
3/15 - Orange-crowned Warbler
3/15 - Northern Parula
3/29 - Yellow-throated Warbler
3/29 - Black-and-white Warbler
3/29 - Louisiana Waterthrush
3/19 - Hooded Warbler
3/29 - Indigo Bunting

Mind you, I'm not complaining! I get concerned where there seems to be such a region-wide difference in bird populations. It may be nothing. Only time will tell.

- Paul

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