Sidebar: A Birder's Almanac
January: Kinglets, brown creepers, winter wrens, and sapsuckers winter at the Zoo. Some wood ducks linger in ponds by the Bird House.
February: Some birds begin to sing, as days lengthen and warm snaps occur.
Mallard. (Ann Batdorf/NZP)
March: Red-shouldered hawks nest between Bird House and the lower valley. Night-heron scouts appear, then disappear.
April: Catbirds, chimney swifts, swallows, and eastern phoebes arrive. Month’s end brings first fledged young birds, even as the first long-distance migrants appear. Black-crowned night-herons nest.
May: Spring migration peaks during the first two weeks. More than 30 warbler species pass through the area; so do cuckoos, scarlet tanagers, rose-breasted grosbeaks, flycatchers, and thrushes.
June: Birdsong and nesting are still in full force.
July: Young birds abound.
August: By mid-month, songbird migration starts; watch for nighthawks by month’s end.
September: Neotropical migrants pass through; hawk migration starts.
October: Migration continues, as a few wintering species appear. Night-herons have gone.
November: Look for hawks, sparrows, and waterfowl on the move.
December: Leaves gone, it’s easier to spot woodpeckers and hawks.
If you have a comment about Smithsonian Zoogoer magazine, please email it to us.Smithsonian Zoogoer 39(1) 2010. Copyright 2010 Friends of the National Zoo. All rights reserved.