Some Bird Species are Already on the Move for Fall Migration

Although it may seen like summer just start, some bird species have already started to migrate back south.

Rob Ripma

With it being the middle of summer, it’s hard to believe that some bird species have already started their “fall” migration. No, we won’t be seeing warblers anytime soon, and it will still be a long time until waterfowl is on the move, but  summer is the time to start watching for migrant shorebirds. Check out these photos of some of the shorebird species that you might find migrating south this summer.

Lesser Yellowlegs are one of the first shorebirds to begin to migrate back south during the summer months.

Lesser Yellowlegs are one of the first shorebirds to begin to migrate back south during the summer months. Their larger look-a-like, Greater Yellowlegs, is also an early migrant.

Least Sandpipers are also early migrants. They are part of a group of shorebirds that we call peeps, all of which can be tricky to tell apart from one another.

Least Sandpipers are also early migrants. They are part of a group of smaller shorebirds that we call peeps, all of which can be tricky to tell apart from one another.

American Avocets are one of my personal favorite shorebirds. They are uncommon in Indiana which I leave but have already been arriving along the shores of Lake Michigan this summer.

American Avocets are one of my personal favorite shorebirds. They are uncommon in Indiana where I live but have already been arriving along the shores of Lake Michigan this summer.

Shorebirds use a variety of habitat, and there is probably a location close to you where you can go out to look for them. If you are lucky enough to live along the coast or near one of the Great Lakes, that is where you should start. Many species will use these shorelines to stop and feed as they migrate. If you are a little more landlocked like I am, check out your local reservoirs and lakes. These can be especially productive if the water levels are low enough to expose mudflats. Shorebirds also like to make use of flooded farm fields so be sure to check any areas around your home that might be flooded.

Have you seen any shorebirds in your area yet this summer?

 

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