If you're not aware, it's a great time of year to be out birding. Many birds not native to the region have, or will be passing through as they migrate south to their winter homes. This is known as the fall migration, and I'm fortunate to live along one of the bird migration routes known as the Atlantic Flyway. It's the route that generally follows the Atlantic Coast of North America and beyond - see map below.
One of the key stopover area along the Atlantic Flyway for many of these migrants is the Virginia Eastern Shore. The Eastern Shore is an important staging and feeding area that provides a variety of habitats for hungry birds; as well as cover for tired, wary birds.
At the southern tip of the Eastern Shore is Kiptopeke State Park. Since 1963, Kiptopeke has been the site of bird population studies for Virginia's Eastern Shore. Sponsored by the Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory (CVWO) and licensed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, volunteers capture, examine, weigh, band and release resident and migratory birds each year from mid-August through November. In the raptor research area, hawks, kestrels, osprey and other birds of prey are observed and banded from September through November. Kiptopeke’s hawk observatory is among the top 15 nationwide.
CVWO has put together a short video that gives an introduction of the great work that they do there. It's a really neat video so if you have a few minutes to spare check it out.
The Yellow-rumped Warblers (below) is one of the many songbird species that visit the Eastern Shore this time of year.
For additional info check-out the CVWO website: http://www.cvwo.org/.
Kiptopeke blog: http://www.kiptopeke.blogspot.com/
Thanks to Mary Reid Barrow for posting this video first on her blog.