As September begins and summer winds down, we may soon be saying goodbye to some of the summer birds in the forest. Two pairs of American Goldfinches have been with us all summer while most of their friends just passed through, heading farther north I assume. In a few weeks we will likely see more and eventually most will head south for the winter. Meanwhile they are fun to watch as they land, swaying, on coneflowers and snack on the ripe seeds.
Hummingbirds have been wildly entertaining all summer, zooming from one feeder to another and squabbling over territory. Three young siblings seemed to play tag as they raced from one area to another at amazing speeds! Eventually they stopped to rest a few minutes on a tiny twig but flying off at the site of the others. In our area the hummingbirds will leave in early October so we have a few more weeks to enjoy their antics.
Many Robins stay around for the winter although there will be flocks pass through on their way south. We have seen young Robins grow and lose their juvenile speckled chests as they learned to find their own food. No doubt the parents are tired after nesting and hatching hungry youngsters and finally getting them out of the nest and on their own. There is plenty of food and our winters are not usually too harsh for them to stay.
Most of the warblers will likely head south soon. We have not seen Prothonotary warblers for several weeks. There are many other small golden warblers still here but they are shy and not easy to see in the green branches. Yesterday a Kentucky warbler made a brief appearance and we have noticed a blue winged Parula warbler in the area. We may not notice when they leave but I will certainly miss their quick flash of golden yellow in the trees when they go.