Wednesday, September 15, 2021

September, the Month to Prepare for Traveling Birds! A Hobby Review!

September is a month that is generally full of all kinds of changes.  Notably, children are going back to school and the days are quickly getting shorter and cooler.

Autumn is definitely in the air and I know I have already been witness to the geese starting to gather and fly in their typical V-formation.  

Birds that have spent the better part of the summer in the north are preparing themselves for the long trek back to their southern winter spots.  But, and here's the important part, it is a long way for them to go and they need our help.


Typically we are all familiar with the Geese that make their way to the south, but there are a host of other birds that also migrate.  According to Cornell Labs there are about 650 species of birds in North American and about half of those are migratory.

Why do they migrate?  Most of these birds leave their resting places to move north to their breeding grounds.  This is hard work for the birds, but instincts make them do this perilous journey at least twice a year. 

Many of us wait eagerly for those pretty little hummingbirds that make their way to the north and we do fill our feeders with sugar water to satisfy their hunger.  But in September, you might just notice that those feeders are being visited more often.  Even though there are plenty of flowers for them to feed on, they know they will be making a long trek soon.  They are filling up their reserves for that journey.  So please don't stop filling your hummingbird feeders just yet.

Most North American songbirds are migratory.  Yet there are other bigger birds that also move from the north to the south in the cooler autumn months.

Let's concern ourselves with the smaller birds for now.  How can you help them?

  • Keep your feeders full of good nutritious seeds is the first way to help. 
  •  Make sure there is a good clean source of water for them too.  All that flying around is hard work.  
  • Gardeners, please leave your seed heads in place! Don't clean up your garden just yet!  Migratory birds love sunflowers, but will also eat seeds from other plants as well.  A natural garden will attract those little birds quite nicely.  
These are just a few little things you can do to help them on their way.  

Learning about these migratory birds and what their needs are will make them happy to stop at your yard for some refreshment and food.


Bird migration happens twice a year, yet we never seem to get tired of seeing our favorite birds making their way to us in spring time and then leaving us again come autumn.  Let's help them as much as we can by being a safe and bird friendly place for them to stop and refuel.  It doesn't take much effort, and you will enjoy the beauty of those little creatures as they make their way south!

If you want to know more there is plenty of information available on the Internet.  There are many bird watching clubs in several states and provinces.  If you are really keen on bird watching, I would recommend you join a group of like minded people.  A camera is a must as well.  You will want to start keeping a diary of all the different birds you have seen over the years.


Birdwatching is a hobby that you will keep at for years and years.  Start small and see how much enjoyment you get from seeing with your own eyes, the birds that make these treks across miles and miles.  Start your list and add to it as you become accustomed to finding these little winged creatures.

Helping our birds make their way is just one small pleasure we can have and it isn't hard to do either.

Once you have seen and admired the strength and determination of those little birds, you will have a new appreciation for hard work they put into surviving and thriving.  There are many life lessons here for all of us too!

May you enjoy September, October and November as the skies become magnets for our little bird friends and we become their helpers on the way!




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7 comments:

  1. I'm not an avid bird watcher, but I certainly enjoy seeing the different species fly past when migrating. My Rose of Sharon has already been host for several hummingbirds and she awaits more. You made me wish to set aside my work for the day, grab some binoculars and head for my favorite trails with my camera. Thanks for the reminders to keep clean water and food available for the beautiful creatures of the sky!

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  2. Bird migration is as much a part of the changing seasons as changes in weather systems. Good tips on helping our feathered friends on their seasonal journeys.

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  3. Thanks for your great tips. I love watching the birds.

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  4. My in-laws spend all but the winter months at their lakeside cottage in Maine, about 30 minutes from Augusta. The lake and the surrounding woods create a glorious view from the elevated back deck, which is where John’s parents spend much of their time and eat most of their meals. My mother-in-law always keeps the hummingbird feeder on the deck filled with fresh nectar and we have enjoyed many a pleasant meal watching the beautiful hummingbirds sipping as we supped. In fact, we gave his mom two new hummingbird feeders for Christmas that, fortunately, the hummers seem to like. Thanks so much for the great tips about how to help our feathered friends stay watered and nourished during their long, annual migratory journeys!

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  5. My friends are avid bird watchers. Excellent tips here. We have a lot of birds, making a ton of noise in our backyard, lol - I have no idea which is which - but we have cardinals and blue jays - and other smaller birds too - they can be quite noisy. My step grandson had a book that made bird noises and he was hitting the buttons and the birds in the backyard were going bananas talking back - was so funny.

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  6. Great tips for thinking about birds in the fall!

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  7. You are so right that gardeners should leave those seed heads and not tidy up straight away in September, as in addition to bird feeders, they are a valuable source of food for hungry birds.A source of clean water is a must as well and can make such a difference to the birds. I love bird watching and never tire of appreciating these beautiful and fascinating creatures.

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