Backyard Winter Visitors

Backyard Winter Visitors

Spring is coming early to Huntsville, but the winter months of December and January brought a special group of migratory birds to my backyard wildlife habitat. These birds migrate from northern latitudes and remain in the Southern states until March and April.  With the warming weather our winter visitors will soon return to their northern breeding grounds. I have had several opportunities to photograph them in my backyard and on my deck.

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Chimney Swift Migration Roost - First United Methodist Church, Huntsville, AL

Chimney Swift Migration Roost - First United Methodist Church, Huntsville, AL

Chimney Swift Migration Roost - First United Methodist Church, Huntsville, AL.  In early fall large groups of Chimney Swifts migrate through North Alabama. In the evening the swifts gather in flocks, circle in a tornado-like mass to enter and roost in large chimneys for the night.

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Backyard Migratory Visitors in 2015

Backyard Migratory Visitors in 2015

In 2015 over thirty regional and Neotropical migrating birds visited my backyard wildlife habitat during the spring and fall seasons.  Generally these birds are not attracted to feeders.  Only the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Red-breasted Nuthatches fed on sunflower seeds, and the Pine an Yellow-rumped Warblers fed on suet.  While my garden plantings and structure that provide security attracted many of the species, my water features provided the major attraction for these short term visitors and afforded me close viewing and many photo opportunities.  Focusing on their natural feeding sites such as in the tops of spring budding trees and fall berry laden trees and shrubs also provided many delightful migration bird sightings.

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