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Eastern Kingbird by Mike Benkis

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The Birds of Summer - Colorful and Lyrical

Neotropical migrants pass through in May and are considered favorites by many for the vivid varieties of color in their plumage. Popular migrants include Warblers, Vireos, Tanagers, and Orioles. Migrating flocks of Warblers and Vireos often mix with local flocks of Chickadees, so keep an eye out for visitors when you see or hear Chickadees in May. Local hotspots for migrants include Walnut Grove Park, Towl Park, Elmwood Park, Heron Haven, and the areas near Fontenelle Forest’s Nature Center and Wetlands, near Gifford Farm. Be sure to check your local hotspot regularly. These birds are most active in the morning.

Local breeding birds return in May and stick around all summer, departing in the fall at various times. It can be fun to learn the songs of local birds, as they tend to fill our neighborhoods, parks, and woodlands with their melodies. Look in mature forests and recreation areas for breeding species, including Vireos, Tanagers, and Orioles.  Indigo Bunting, American Redstart, and Yellow-billed Cuckoo may be found near the Fontenelle Forest Nature Center and Wetlands areas. To help with identification and bird songs, download the Audubon Bird Guide app to your smartphone. Developed by the National Audubon Society, it has a find-a-bird feature and it’s FREE.

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