Here they come: fall migration underway

September 11th, 2012 · by Garrison Frost

As we’ve already noted elsewhere on this blog, fall migration is underway. A really good example of are the Greater Sandhill Cranes which, after a long spring and summer in Alaska, have already been spotted at their wintering grounds in Central California.┬áBeth Peluso of Audubon Alaska recently videotaped Sandhill Cranes staging at the Cramer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in Fairbanks, Alaska:

As Beth mentions in the video, these birds at Creamer’s Field will ultimately head to Texas for the winter. The birds that come down through California start from Homer, Alaska, where they’ve been well documented:

It’s important to note that the Sandhills are not the only ones coming down from points north. Lots of species are on the move. For instance people are already seeing lots of White-crowned Sparrows in California. And just yesterday, we received word of another one of our favorite migrations: the Vaux’s Swifts. Our friends at the Audubon Society of Portland just counted 12,000 Vaux’s Swifts using a brick chimney at an elementary school. It won’t be long before these swifts will be in downtown Los Angeles, where the Audubon Center at Debs Park sponsors viewings, such as this one from 2010:

* Since our original post, the Vaux’s Swifts have begun to arrive in Los Angeles in great numbers. On Sept. 17, we counted perhaps 15,000 using the chimney at the Chester Building in downtown Los Angeles. Below is a blurry photo (this happens right at dusk) taken by Audubon’s Jeff Chapman a week ago, when he saw about 5,000 pouring into the chimney.

Categories: Audubon Alaska · Audubon Center at Debs Park · Bird Habitat · Bird videos · Birding · fall migration

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