Migration is happening now!

April 22nd has passed, but we can still celebrate Earth Day - Go Check out some migrating birds!
Migration is happening now! And we’re still enjoying beautiful April weather, so in honor of a continued Earth Day celebration, get outside! Whether you are an early morning riser, or a night owl, take a few minutes to check out the sky and see who is flying by!

Hawks and birds of prey can mostly be spotted during late morning and early afternoon, while most songbirds migrate at night. Point your binoculars towards the moon to see them passing through!

Some star birds to look for:
Indigo bunting is one of the most spectacular and popular birds on your bird feeder. These birds really like millet seed, and even if you don’t have a feeder you can just spread it on the ground for them!

The elusive Painted bunting is beautiful, but harder to find. Learn their song and you will be more likely to track one down. The painted bunting do breed throughout LA, and are often found nesting along the Mississippi river in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

The ruby throated hummingbird will also be coming through, watch for them in your hummingbird plants!

Some Challenges our Birds Face:
Since 1970 3 billion birds, mostly migratory species, have disappeared. What can you do to help?!
-WATER: All birds need water. Keep water fresh available for them, and if you are able to have moving water that is even better.
-FOOD: good choices are white millet and black-oil sunflower as these both attract a wide variety of birds. Stay away from mixes that include milo or red millet as virtually none of our native birds will eat it.
-HUMMINGBIRDS: to make food for your hummingbird feeder mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water. Heat the water up to help get rid of chlorine from the tap and dissolve sugar and you do not need to add dye.  Change out once a week to keep it fresh for the birds!
-SHELTER: Birds need shelter to hide, to rest, and to build nests and lay eggs so offer them birdhouses to do so.
- PLANT NATIVES: plant native plants and don’t use pesticides in order to attract another food source for birds - insects! If you need help choosing native plants for your yard, Audubon has an online database where you can enter your zip code and it will pull up a list of native plants for your area to plant for the birds!
-PREVENT COLLISIONS: Building collisions are blamed for up to 1 billion bird deaths per year in the US. To help avoid this at your house, put your bird feeders either right next to your window or 50 ft away to protect birds from flying into windows.

Here are some recommended Apps to try to help with your birding adventures: iNaturalist, eBird, The Audubon Bird Guide, Merlin Bird ID.

And if you still have questions you can always reach out to an Audubon Louisiana staff member here or use one of the multiple Facebook groups that offer identification help. On Facebook look for "What's this bird” or "Louisiana birds and bird watching.”

Interested in capturing your birding adventures? Here is a free preview of a nature journaling class to give you some pointers on how to journal while birding.

-Lindsay Kirsch, Environmental Program Manager