Nicole Netherton, Executive Director of Travis Audubon, spent time with Studio 512 to talk about spring bird migration, which is at its peak in the last week of April/first week of May!
Check out Travis Audubon’s bird blog to see what species are arriving now. Nicole says that millions of birds are in flight at this time over Travis County every night. It’s because Central Texas sits in the Central Migratory flyway. “Birds have just spent their winters in Central and South America, essentially on vacation, and now are in a hurry to get to their breeding grounds further north.
“Many birds migrate at night, using the stars and the magnetism of the earth to navigate. Birdcast.info is a great website where you can see what bird ‘traffic’ will be like over the next few days in our area and across North America.
“We are seeing so many beautiful birds arriving now: Indigo buntings, Painted buntings and many types of warblers. Some of these birds will breed here, others will stop for food and water and rest, then move further north to their breeding grounds.
“The number one thing that we can all do to help birds on their migration is to turn off our interior and exterior lights from 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Birds are drawn to the dome of light pollution produced in urban areas as they fly overnight, which then increases the chances that they will collide with glass. Window collisions are one of the top human-made causes of bird mortality, which greatly contributes to declines in biodiversity.
“Turning out lights helps minimize this light pollution, which in turn helps them avoid all the glass in developed areas. Not just skyscrapers, but the windows of our homes have dangerous glass as well. You can find out more information about Lights Out Texas at Travisaudubon.org. You can save money on your electric bills and help save our wildlife!”
Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day with Travis Audubon at Hornsby Bend on May 13th. There will be lots of family friendly activities, and and the event is free for everyone!
Learn more about how to get involved – and start birding today – at TravisAudubon.org.