Flight Delays

Perhaps it has been the cool, wet weather, or my aging sight and reflexes, or just plain bad timing, but the spring bird migration has been underwhelming this year. Despite my daily, evening vigil in the backyard, the number and variety of birds visiting our neighborhood have been well below the norm. Even our reliable summer residents have been under represented.

Checking with other birders in our area, I have found that their experience has been similar; the populations of migrant warblers and flycatchers seem to be most reduced. Perhaps their travels have been delayed by recent heavy storms across the south and, hopefully, sightings will pick up in the coming weeks. Today's spring Audubon Bird Count should help to clarify the issue.

While bird migration is triggered by the solar cycle, the actual journey may be disrupted by regional weather patterns, forcing these travellers to change course or prolong their rest stops. Nature does not ensure safe and timely arrivals.