Sep 12, 2018 | Featured in: Watching Backyard Birds, October 2018

Editor's Note: Passing Seasons

Magnolia warbler in fall plumage, photo by Bill Thompson, III.
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I don't know about you, but I feel the changing seasons keenly—especially where the birds are concerned. The only thing that helps me get over the loss of summer bird song is the helter-skelter of fall migration, with warblers and vireos, thrushes, and tanagers flitting through the backyard trees on fall mornings. Then they are gone and the backyard is mostly quiet. With cold weather's arrival here in southeastern Ohio, the windows stay shut (except on warm afternoons) and we're reduced to enjoying our birds through a pane of glass. It's like we're inside a fishbowl, looking out on the bustle of activity at our feeders. Except the birds really don't care what we're doing inside our fishbowls. They have more interesting and important things to worry about—like getting enough food and finding proper shelter.

I adore a cold winter morning when the offerings at our feeders seem to draw birds from near and far. Add a cup of coffee and I'm a happy camper. Sometimes I envy the birds their freedom and their high-energy life force. But then a Cooper's hawk zooms through the yard and nabs an unsuspecting sparrow or junco or mourning dove, and I'm kind of glad to be inside and cozy and safe. I've been feeding birds for more than 40 years now, and it never gets old, though I seem to be.

Happy fall and winter backyard birding!

Bill Thompson, III
WBB Team Captain



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