Thursday, February 16, 2012

Where should I go birding in March?

It seems like it should be spring to me. But except for the first migrants--Turkey Vultures, Tree and Violet-green Swallows, Rufous Hummingbirds, and Orange-crowned Warblers--most of the birds think it is still winter.

This is a good time to find some hard-to-see woodland species, though. In March you will find Brown Creepers singing throughout the Pacific NW, and Hutton's Vireos singing away west of the Cascades. You may also practice learning the songs of Song Sparrows and comparing them with the songs of Bewick's Wrens (again, primarily west of the Cascades and along the Columbia River eastward). Especially on sunny days will these birds be belting out their songs in March.

But for me, March brings the first ocean birding boat trips of the year. Again, although the first month of spring, the target birds are "winter" birds: Laysan Albatross, Short-tailed Shearwater, and Ancient Murrelet. You may appreciate the post on the Oregon Seabirds blog: Winter pelagic trip: March 12, 2012. Or find out more about Oregon birding boat trips on The Bird Guide's Pelagic Birding Trips page.

Where are you planning on watching birds in the coming month and what species do you hope to see there? Are you a field trip organizer? We want to hear what you offer (fee or free). Leave your response in the Comments section as ideas for others.

Birding festivals:

San Diego Bird Festival
March 1-4, 2012
San Diego, California

Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival
March 17, 2012
Blaine, Washington

Othello Sandhill Crane Festival
March 23-25, 2012
Othello, Washington

Olympic Birdfest
March 30-April 1, 2012
Sequim, Washington