This weekend is perfect for stepping outside with a pair of binoculars and your ears wide open to catch sight and sound of some colorful birds on their way north. You’ll be amazed at the variety of life out there once you start looking for it.
I’ll be birding Saturday on an annual warbler walk where I live, but you don’t have to be in the country to see some wonderful things. Places to go in Missouri are listed on a variety of websites: http://www.mobirds.org/mbrc/MOChecklist.asp, http://www.camacdonald.com/birding/usmissouri.htm, http://mdc.mo.gov/nathis/birds/emobirds/birding.htm. If you live near Cape Girardeau, they’re having a migratory bird day celebration on Saturday, May 2, at the Conservation Nature Center there.
You’ve heard that the early bird gets the worm…well, the early birder gets the birds. They’re especially active in singing at dawn (known as the dawn chorus), but continue until later mid-morning. By mid-day, the birds quiet down so you’re not as likely to hear them call, which also makes it harder to find them. Bird listening is really the key to good birding. If you know the habitat they live in and you know their calls, you’ll be much more sucessful at finding the birds.