The Dog Days of Birdwatching Aren’t So Bad: Fledglings and year-round species abound

North America has more than 50 species of warblers, but few combine brilliant color and easy viewing quite like the Yellow Warbler. In summer, the buttery yellow males sing their sweet whistled song from willows, wet thickets, and roadsides across almost all of North America – Cornell Lab of Ornitholgy.
Photo: Corey Finger, 10,000 Birds

The Dog Days of Summer might feel like the Dog Days of Birdwatching for loyal bird watchers – spring migration is over and fall migration has yet to begin. But, with fledglings to feed and some North American species here year-round, there’s still plenty of bird watching to make the ‘Dog Days’ great for bird watching.

We’ve come to know the ‘Dog Days of Summer’ as a time when the weather is pretty miserable around most of the Northern Hemisphere, but the period of time from July 22 through August 22 is actually when the Greeks and the Romans could see the star Sirius; they thought that these hot months could bring some sort of natural disaster or illness.

For birdwatchers, backyards, forests, shores and mountains are still full of hungry fledglings feeding on as much as they can to ready for their first foray into the adult bird world. Species such as the American Robin, Warblers and the Northern Mockingbird live year-round through most of the US. Fledgling Ospreys are learning to hunt with the males near shores, and another raptor, the American Bald Eagle, fledge for up to four months.

We loved this blog post from 10,000 Birds’ blogger Corey Finger, Fledgling Yellow Warblers at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, describing how he is coping with the ‘Dog Days of Birding.’ Corey who is also the author of The American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York, eventually managed to find young Yellow Warblers begging from their parents, and had a cool time digiscoping them. You’ll love his photo captions!

This post originally appeared in the July 5, 2017 issue of 10,000 Birds.