The Flocks of Autumn

In spring and early summer, most birds pair off to nest. While some species roost and nest in colonies, the birds usually move about alone, in pairs or in small family groups. By mid-late summer, shorebirds begin to migrate south in small flocks while other species (blackbirds, gulls, mourning doves, swallows) start to congregate.

Flocks of nighthawks circle southward in the evening skies of late August, moving ahead of the coming chill. September brings the first wave of migrant songbirds and early ducks (blue-winged and cinnamon teal) appear on our wetlands. By October, flocks of waterfowl (ducks, grebes, white pelicans, cormorants) are building, joined by swans and geese in November.

Generally wintering in sizable flocks, these avian travellers will return in the spring, to begin their season of relative solitude. For now, we can look forward to their autumn exodus, a spectacle that has long stirred wanderlust in the soul of man.