Some birders think summer is the slow season for birding. It just seems so dull now that migration is over. The truth is that migration is never over, and that some birds(mostly shorebirds like sandpipers that nest far north) are already migrating south by June! The nice thing about Summer, however, is that some birds can now be easier to find.
Before I explain that statement, I'd like to do a public service announcement for the baby birds out there. If you find a baby bird, try to put it back! If it has few or no body feathers, it should be put back in the nest, if it has body feathers and short or no wing feathers, get it to perch on something near where the nest might be (a bush or branch is fine). If you can't do that, call the STAR foundation at 631-731-8207, or Volunteers for Wildlife at 631-423-0982, or my store at 631-751-7333. A baby bird's best bet is always its own parents, and it is illegal to take wild birds (even babies!) Out of the wild without a permit.
Ok, commercial over. What did he say about finding birds easier? Well, the nice thing about early Summer is that birds are still nesting, so you know they're staying put in one place for awhile. On top of that, they're usually singing to announce their territory, so you don't have to wait to see them to know they are there! Let's say you've never seen an Indigo Bunting, which is a beautiful cobalt blue bird that rarely comes to the backyard. You need a source that tells you where they nest, such as the book "A Seasonal Guide to Birdfinding on Long Island", written by Howard Barton III and Trish Pelkowski, published by the Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown (see the link below). This book tells you that Indigo Buntings can be seen at Hoyt Farm in Smithtown, so you go there and by golly you see the beautiful blue bird! It can be just that easy. Now that I've said that, a caution. You should never disturb a nesting bird, no matter how beautiful it is or how much you want to see it. It shouldn't be too difficult to see the bird from a distance, especially if you have high quality binoculars or a spotting scope.
So, don't give up on birds because it's summertime, just find the ones that are easy to see, and before you know it, Fall migration will be upon us!
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