There’s no better time than right now to channel your inner birdwatcher. Quarantine sucks, we can all agree - but it's a great opportunity to learn about local wildlife!
Do your plans include walking around the block to escape whoever you’ve embarked on this isolation journey with? Or maybe gazing out your window like a house cat, daydreaming about post-pandemic life? Well, if you just open your eyes and ears to the natural world around you, you’ve got everything it takes to be a birder.
Spring is for the birds! The warmer weather and blooming plant life welcome winged-friends of all shapes and sizes. Here’s a few species you should keep an eye out for if you live in New England this Spring:
1. American Kestrels (Falco sparverius)
Kestrels are North America's smallest falcon. You can find these fierce You can find them fiercely zooming across open grassland fields, using their agility to hunt insects, rodents, and small birds. Kestrels nest in tree cavities along field edges, relying on holes made by woodpeckers! There are currently 9.2 million American Kestrels in the world, but their population has been on a steady decline of 1.39% every year since 1966. You can help protect these tiny giants at home by putting up a nest box in your backyard to attract a breeding pair.
2. Black-Capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus)
Black-capped chickadees are widely considered one of the cutest little woodland critters out there thanks to their oversized head, small body, and curiosity about nearly everything! These little guys will be some of the first birds that show up to your bird-feeder, and are commonly seen in just about any wooded area around New England.
Woodpecker species come in a variety of sizes and colors. But they all have one thing in common - they like whacking trees with their beak! Pictured here is a Pileated Woodpecker, one of the largest forest birds in North America. Other species include the much smaller downy woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, Northern Flicker, red-bellied woodpecker, and red-headed woodpecker.
4. Tufted Titmouse
The Tufted Titmouse definitely has one of the funnier names in the birding world, and is a common backyard visitor if you put out the right bird feed (especially in the winter). Their meal of choice being sunflower seeds. They love to nest in tree cavities, and so if you put out a bird box, you might be lucky enough to have a pair nest! These birds are year-round residents to their area, and spend winters hoarding food.
Warblers are small, fast, and extremely challenging to take a good photo of. Over 50 different species of Warblers can be found all across the United States, and they come in a variety of incredible colors. These little songbirds build round nests made of grass, bark, deer hair, and down from plants. Pictured here is a Wilson's Warbler migrating North.