Currently there are no bird walks scheduled due to Covid-19
Hello Bird Enthusiasts,
As I write this it's mid October. It's my favorite month and my favorite day of the year, Halloween is just around the corner. The leaves are turning, the air is crisp. I've been spending a lot of time photographing rain covered spider webs, investigating new slug and snail species in the neighborhood and enjoying the fall/winter migratory birds like Golden-crowned Sparrows and Townsend's Warblers that have been visiting the yard.
The biggest surprise has been the return of the our state bird the American Goldfinch! While they spend a lot of the year here in Seattle I seem to only get them in Spring and Fall. As you can see from the photo above they really love my feeder filled with sunflower hearts.
I've enjoyed some great camping this summer and I even managed to nab a life bird(bird not seen by me before) at a fabulous campground which sits on the Oregon Coast Birding Trail.
Read all about my campground lifer on my blog!
It’s also that time of year when the light of early fall mimics the light of spring and birds with accelerated hormones are triggered to sing.
Yesterday the returning backyard American Goldfinches sang for hours, so I recorded them.
Today territorial disputes in the garden as 3 Bewick’s Wrens all within close proximity shouted at each other in their bird language.
Nearby tempers flared for the competing male Dark-eyed Juncos as they chased one and other around the yard vocalizing loudly.
This phenomenon is called "Autumnal Recrudescence of the Amatory Urge"
and it's currently playing out in my backyard.
The poem below by Susan Stiles sums up the phenomenon beautifully.
The Autumnal Recrudescence of the Amatory Urge
When the birds are cacaphonic in the trees and on the verge
Of the fields in mid-October when the cold is like a scourge.
It is not delight in winter that makes feathered voices surge,
But autumnal recrudescence of the amatory urge.
When the frost is on the pumpkin and when leaf and branch diverge,
Birds with hormones reawakened sing a paean, not a dirge.
What’s the reason for their warbling? Why on earth this late-year splurge?
The autumnal recrudescence of the amatory urge.
Poem written by Susan Stiles, copyright December 1973
I hope you all have been marveling at the birds and nature in your area. I look forward to resuming urban bird walks and birding with you in person as soon as were able. When bird walks resume I will be posting the information here, on my Instagram page as well as Seattle Audubon's website. So please check back frequently. Until then I hope you remain healthy and in good spirits.
Happy Birding, Roniq Bartanen
Head over to my blog for content celebrating the culture and joy of mindful, urban and accessible birding.
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