Ask a Naturalist: What types of birds migrate this time of year?

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Many birds that pass through the Charlotte area are migrating from much further up north, but many are also migrating from the Western North Carolina mountains to the south.

Some migrate and pass through, while others may spend the winter here.

Here are some of the birds to look for in the next few months:

Warblers – Many warblers move through the Carolinas to their destinations south. This may include warblers such as hooded warblers, prothonotary warblers, orange-crowned warblers, golden and blue-winged warblers, American Redstarts, etc. One of the most common warblers to come to our area and stay in the winter is the “butter-butt” or yellow-rumped warbler.

Raptors – Red-shouldered hawk, red-tailed hawk (although these are resident hawk species, others may migrate through), osprey, sharp-shinned hawk

Waterfowl – Blue and green-winged teal, buffleheads, northern shovelers, ruddy ducks, common loons, grebes

Shorebirds – Wilson’s snipe, killdeer, etc.

Other birds - Grosbeaks, buntings, orioles, finches, hummingbirds and many others

There are always some uncommon, accidental and “one-day-wonder” migrants that show up in different areas of the state, such as common eiders, golden eagles, peregrine falcons, snowy owls, hooded orioles, evening grosbeaks, reddish egrets, red-headed ducks and swallow-tailed kites.

Keep your eyes open and you’ll never know what you will see!

Learn more about bird migration.

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