Spring is here and the birds are singing.
The next few weeks are very active for our state when it comes to birds returning to Connecticut. However, we have seen some significant changes in migration due to climate change.
"Late April, early May - the first three weeks of May really the most exciting time of year for bird migration in Connecticut,” said Patrick Comins, Executive Director of the Connecticut Audubon Society. “Not only is there numbers and variety of birds they're also in their top breeding plumage and also singing. You can identify some of the birds each have a unique song."
It's hard not to notice the birds singing this time of the year. And the Connecticut Audubon Society is making it easy during these difficult times to learn more about them.
"A lot of people are using them cause they find solace in nature a lot more people are out appreciating nature than ever”
All 20 of their sanctuaries across the state are still open to visitors. And with more than 3,000 acres of protected land filled with spectacular species…you can take in all they have to offer at a safe, social distance. All they ask is that you follow the governor's guidelines and bring a mask.
But climate change is threatening the different bird species here in Connecticut.
"For decades we've been seeing changes,” explains Comins. “We've seen birds moving up from the south like the Red Belly Woodpecker, the Northern Cardinal, the Carolina Wren.”
One of the biggest effects of climate change for wildlife, people and property in Connecticut are rising sea levels.
"One of the most endangered birds in the world it's primary cause of endangerment is rising sea levels, and that's Salt Marsh Sparrows and they're already having effects because they try and race between the tides to raise their chicks to a point where they are old enough that they can scramble up the grass and get away from the rising flood tides."
And shortening the window between flood tides by just one day can mean the difference of success or failure. There’s already been a significant decrease in productivity of the species and they are expected to be extinct in the next few decades.
If you’re interested in learning more about our native bird species and what you can to do protect them, you can visit the Connecticut Audubon Society’s website where they’re hosting webinars about the different types of birds currently migrating in Connecticut. They also have a daily blog feature a new bird every day.