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Spring Migration Begins in Virginia

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Blue-headed Vireo. Photo by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren.

As the Blue-headed Vireos and Yellow-throated Warblers have already begun to arrive in Virginia we look toward the beginnings of Virginia’s Spring migration.  Each year approximately 34 species of warblers return from the Bahamas, and Central and South America along with many other species traveling north up the Atlantic Flyway.  Some will stop for only a moment of rest, while others will stay, nest and fledge young here before returning to their wintering grounds next fall.  It is an endless playing out of the Circle of Life.

© Marshall Faintich Warren Ferry, VA 4/23/15

Yellow-throated Warbler. ©Marshall Faintich

With the weather warming, there is nothing like getting outside in the early morning to hear the dawn chorus, making it an idyllic time of year to head out on the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail (VBWT). Male birds will be staking their territories and courting females to continue the long established cycle that gives the seasons
their voice.

In Virginia there are many places to see these “new” arrivals each year.  From the G. Richard Thompson Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Fauquier County with its abundance of trillium blooming and Kentucky Warblers singing loudly, to the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge with Swainson’s Warblers to James River Park and its plethora of Prothonotary Warblers to the Clinch Mountain WMA and Mount

© Marshall Faintich Dutch Gap, VA 4/26/13

Prothonotary Warbler. © Marshall Faintich

Rogers in Southwest Virginia and the call of Cerulean Warblers, there are so many great places to visit for warbler watching. Even in your own backyard, there are many local parks that host birdwatching opportunities. You can find many of these sites on the VBWT.  Take the time to get outside and discover Virginia’s Wild Side and, while you’re at it, take a friend and enjoy it together!

To follow the status of this year’s warbler migration, please check back with DGIF’s Facebook page throughout April, when we will be posting updates on the status of the Palm Warbler’s journey up the Atlantic Flyway, from Florida, through Virginia, and up to their breeding grounds in Canada.

© Marshall Faintich

Palm Warbler. © Marshall Faintich

  • March 25th, 2016