mini Fall Out

From the Houston TX Audubon Society: “During the spring migration period from early March to mid May conditions occasionally exist where strong, turbulent north winds and rain trigger a phenomenon called a “fallout.” This usually happens when a strong, fast-moving cold front crosses the Texas coast and moves into the Gulf of Mexico during the middle of the day. The wind and rain slows the migrating birds down causing them to rapidly use up their stored energy reserves. Thousands of extremely tired migrants are forced to seek shelter and food as soon as they reach the coast. At these times, good-quality habitat along the coast is vitally important to the survival of tens and thousands of birds.

Minnesota too, can have fall outs in the spring. If the conditions are just right in the city of Duluth, fall outs occur there quite often during migration. Duluth is prone to weather fronts that can cause Lake Superior to create a fog that’s as thick as pea soup. That’s when it’s a good time to head down to Park Point, many migrating birds might be grounded due to the thick fog.

Here in Crane Lake, we tend to have spring snowstorms that may dump copious amounts of wet snow on the trees and ground, and that can cause a sort of “fall-out”. This morning due to the 4 inches of snow we received overnight, the birdfeeders were very busy. The snow has covered up the ground and tree branches where birds normally go to forage for food, so now large flocks of birds out are out scouring the landscape for other food sources. The birds that go to the feeders knock food to the ground and the ground feeding birds are attracted to the commotion and find food where others have tread. I’m glad that I had stocked up on sunflower seed in preparation of a busy spring at the feeders. It didn’t hurt that sunflower seeds have come down in price since this winter. I’m guessing the overpriced seeds caused demand to go down and now there’s an oversupply.

Recent arrivals:

Tree Sparrow in snow

Tree Sparrow in snow

 

Tree Sparrow

Tree Sparrow

  

American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrow

 

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

 

Northern Flicker, yellow-shafted

Northern Flicker, yellow-shafted

 

Mallards eat sunflower seeds too

Mallards eat sunflower seeds too

 

 

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