The Eclipse is not the only thing happening in the Skies this Spring

The Eclipse is Not the Only Thing Happening in the Skies this Spring

The Community Bicyclist

The following article was written by Danielle Smith with the Public News Service Public News Service

Spring marks the season for annual migrations for numerous bird species, with Arkansas hosting a total of 428 avian varieties.

Experts said birdwatchers are encouraged to be vigilant, as they may encounter countless species ranging from waterfowl and songbirds to shorebirds, herons, egrets and raptors.

Erik Johnson, director of conservation science for Audubon Delta, said he recently saw Prothonotary warblers in South Louisiana, and they should be flying to Arkansas in a few weeks.

“Over the course of the next two months, something like 2.1 billion birds are going across the Gulf of Mexico and funnel themselves up the Mississippi flyway, many of them through Arkansas, on their way to their breeding grounds across the eastern United States and Canada,” Johnson explained.

Johnson pointed out bird migration typically starts in mid-March and reaches its peak in early May. According to BirdCast, migrating birds regularly fly up to 10,000 feet above the ground, although seasonal timing and weather conditions dramatically affect their distributions.

Johnson noted he works with the Little Rock Audubon Center on some science objectives as well as building relationships with the state. He emphasized a new program starting this spring will help improve conservation outcomes for birds and people.


“Urban Native Greens: It’s a community science nest-monitoring program,” Johnson outlined. “We’re encouraging folks who have either Carolina wrens or Carolina chickadees, or purple martins or Prothonotary warblers in their yard, in their neighborhood, in their favorite green space to monitor nests and then submit that data through a web portal.”

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Johnson added they will be using the information to understand the effects of mosquito spraying on bird population health, and looking at the benefits of diversity of native plants on bird nesting success.


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One Response

  1. I frequently have Carolina wrens, Carolina chickadees, and purple martins at my feeders in WLR. However, I do not know where they nest.

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