Thanks Florida, thanks Virginia…They made it to Canada!
With a mild winter and an early start to spring, the palm warblers have already arrived. They are starting to nest throughout Canada, and it is a joy to hear their lovely trills filling the woods. The forests here truly come alive with colour and song each year when the wood warblers arrive.
Just listen…Some birds only sing during mating season, and it is mating season. All across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, up into Quebec and beyond, the air is full of sounds announcing spring has sprung!
(Clip recorded by Viktor Nilsson-Örtman and distributed with permission under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0)
Canada is home to billions of birds belonging to over 450 native species that raise their young or spend their non-breeding seasons here.
And did you know only 22 per cent of Canadian bird species spend the whole year in Canada?
Wood warblers are just one of the many birds that need habitat in more than one country in order to thrive. Think about it: the wood warblers that migrate from the south are arriving healthy and plump thanks to the wonderful conservation of stopover sites along their routes (Thanks Florida! Thanks Virgina! And the thanks could go on and on).
Birds don’t do borders. The international blog exchange One Sky Our Birds is our way of celebrating the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty and successes in last 100 years of cross-border conservation. Conservation succeeds when we all work together. The health of our birds tells us much about the health of our planet.
If you are visiting New Brunswick, be sure to check out the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Musquash Estuary Nature Reserve. Keep your eyes peeled for warblers flitting from branch to branch, and your ears open. The forests along the coastal Bay of Fundy provide a great habitat and shelter for warblers. Birding New Brunswick is a forum where you can get the scoop on birding hotspots (such as Miscou Island and Johnson’s Mills) and tips from locals.
In Quebec, palm warblers have started arriving despite a cooler spring. They may be spotted at the Tourbière-de-Venise-Ouest Nature Reserve near Lac Champlain, a portion of which is open to the public.
Later in May, palm warblers can be seen at the Green Mountains Nature Reserve, near Montreal, along with a number of other warbler species.
In Ontario, Point Pelee National Park and Pelee Island draw flocks of tourists and birders each year to observe the spring and fall migration.
So this year, look up more, enjoy nature more, get outside and see the birds. Whether you live in New Brunswick or Maine, Florida or Ontario, Virginia or Ohio, get outside and celebrate with any of the organizations that are working to protect our nature, our forests, our water, our birds.
Let us take the time to celebrate all of our successes over the past 100 years and get out to enjoy our little feathery friends this spring. One Sky Our Birds!
This blog post is one in a series of posts from an international blog exchange celebrating the conservation of migratory birds.