Get Your Binoculars Ready!

April 21, 2021 by Team Journey North

Peak spring migration is approaching in certain areas. What migratory bird species are you observing? Remember to report to Journey North!

“First Prothonotary Warbler of the year.” Photo by: Karin (Murphysboro, IL; 04/06/2021)

Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds

Exciting news! Dr. Aborn shares details about the first fallout of the season:

“Birders at Bayou Savage National Wildlife Refuge tallied 3,750 Indigo Buntings, 3,330 Blue Grosbeaks, 250 Orchard Orioles, 250 Eastern Kingbirds, 200 Black-throated-green Warblers, 200 Yellow warblers, 70 Red-eyed Vireos, 65 Summer Tanagers, and 65 Scarlet Tanagers!”

Read more of Weather Forestcasts for Migrating Songbirds #6

Chuck Henrikson’s Birding Report 

Despite chilly weather at Journey North’s home base, the UW–Madison Arboretum, Chuck Henrikson is still finding new arrivals:

“One little bird I came across was a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. I heard its perky song first and then it came by to greet me. There must have been another kinglet around because it had it ruby colored crown up. I tried to photograph it but it was hard because it never stopped moving. Out of 40 tries I got one so so photo. Ruby-crowned Kinglets are one of my favorite little birds and they sing a song that is upbeat and I can hear it.”

Read more of Chuck Henrikson’s birding report #57

Journey North Species

Red-Winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbirds are still claiming territories and making steady progress north through Canada. 

John in Sturgeon County, AB: “A single male Red-winged Blackbird staking out his territory among the bull rushes.” (04/19/2021)

Barn Swallow

While not as far north as Red-winged Blackbirds, Barn Swallows are beginning to arrive in Canada.

Don in Fort Erie, ON: “Didn’t notice the return of 2 swallows to the barn until they wanted back out in the morning.” (04/17/2021)

Baltimore Oriole and Bullock’s Oriole

Last year, reports of Baltimore Orioles started picking up in late April. Is this year following the same trend? 

Atley in Carl Junction, MO: “Male Baltimore Oriole sighted at 12:05pm immediately after setting out hummingbird feeders.” (04/18/2021)

Bill in Lexington, KY: “[Baltimore Oriole] stopped by for hummingbird nectar and grape jelly.” (04/20/2021)

In Canada, one wayward Bullock’s Oriole is providing unexpected delight.

Jacquie in Algoma, ON: “Pleasure to observe [Bullock’s Oriole] over a week long period. ‘Prince Baillie’ is so far from normal range hoping he will get to his destination safely. Photo by: Stan Phippen.” (04/12/2021)

Common Loon

As spring progresses and ice-out events expand northward, Journey North observers in Canada are welcoming back Common Loons.

Terri in Spring Lake, AB: “Heard the loon on the lake for the first time this year!” (04/18/2020)

Cathy in Huntsville, ON: “Spotted fishing on Bella Lake that morning. We heard it calling the previous evening to another loon which sounded like it was on the adjoining lake…Rebecca Lake.” (04/19/2021)

Keep Reporting and Include Photos

Keep reporting Red-winged Blackbird, Barn Swallow, Baltimore and Bullock’s Oriole, and Common Loon observations to Journey North. And if you observe other bird species, please report under the category All Other Signs of Spring. If possible, include photos in your reports. Photos help verify reports and we enjoy sharing them with our Journey North community!