September isn’t just busy for teachers and students! As folks gear up to return to work, school or to their regular routines, birds across the world are prepping for their autumn migrations.
And while migration is something that birds do naturally (they need little help from us), there are many ways that humans can help birds of all species enjoy a safe migration. In fact, taking the time to research and implement bird-safe practices will not only help the birds enjoy a safe flight south, but also protect the environment, economy, and communities that we share with birds.
As homeowners, it’s important to recognize that birds don’t just collide with skyscrapers. Even remote, single-story buildings, like a family home or bungalow, can be a site for bird strikes, which is why it’s crucial to make your home bird-safe before, during and after fall migration. So, we’re sharing some tips on how to prepare your yard and your home for fall migration. Best of all, you don’t have to be an avid birdwatcher or scientist to purchase a DIY or larger scale application kit—Feather Friendly® is for everyone.
When Does Fall Migration Start?
Despite the seasonal implications of its name, fall migration is an on-going phenomenon that begins in the summer and carries on through autumn. The exact timing of fall migration is dependent on a variety of factors, including the species of bird, its location, seasonal temperatures and even availability of food. Fall migration, then, can occur any time between June and January! Migrating, as it turns out, is a full-time job.
But why do some birds migrate sooner than others? Well, according to Audubon, some birds forgo the traditional August/September migration to take advantage of favorable food conditions to support their seasonal molting, while others will head South in search of warmer weather; some species of male birds fly South shortly after mating, since they’re not needed to raise the fledglings; and, finally, there are some birds that don't migrate at all!
Whether birds migrate or not depends on the food and territory that is available to birds. According to this article by the Spruce, birds synchronize their habits to coincide with available resources and breeding seasons, which is why some birds migrate while others can stay behind. But, because there’s no sure-fire way to know when your favourite local species are migrating, we’re offering a few tips to help you prepare birds for their fall migration all year long!
How to Support Migratory Birds During Fall
Of course, the easiest way to make sure that birds are safe is to outfit your windows with Feather Friendly® bird deterrent markers, which enable birds to “see” glass facades, railings, windows and doors to help prevent bird collisions. Outfitting your windows with bird deterrent markers will support migratory efforts and can help to improve the lifespan of common and at-risk species, too.
Additionally, the following bird-safe strategies can be used to support bird migration:
Feed the birds: If you don’t have a feeder already, installing a bird feeder in your yard is one way to help give birds the fuel they need to make their migration journeys. Check out this blog post to learn about proper bird-feeding practices and how it can help supplement conservation efforts!
Keep cats indoors: Did you know that house cats are responsible for the majority of bird deaths in North America? Keeping your cats indoors can help create a safe environment for bird species to eat, mate and breed.
Learn about bird-friendly legislation: Is your state, city or province bird-friendly? Check out Feather Friendly®’s Cities page to learn more about bird-friendly legislation across North America and the laws and regulations that are in place to protect birds.