Oct 3, 2023 - Culture

Birds to spot during fall peak migration in Houston

A ruby-crowned kinglet. Photo: Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of birds are traveling through Houston as they head south to their winter homes.

Why it matters: Houston's position on the Central Flyway, a superhighway for migratory birds, makes it a hot spot for fall migration.

  • Now's your chance to catch a glimpse of species that are coming from as far north as Canada and the Arctic.

Driving the news: The birds migrate Aug. 15 through Nov. 30, with peak migration happening now through Oct. 29.

  • They'll move through the sky while you're sleeping, using the moon and the stars to help them navigate.
  • During the day, migratory birds conserve their energy and search for food and water.

Here are some migrating birds to look out for, according to Houston Audubon:

Pro tip: You're most likely to see these birds around sunrise and sunset, when they're most active, according to Nicole Netherton, executive director of Travis Audubon.

What to watch: You can receive local bird migration alerts from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to know when birds are migrating in high densities.

Be smart: It's recommended to turn off your lights in the evenings during peak migration.

  • The light "can cause them to be disoriented," Netherton tells Axios. "It also draws them into urban areas with light pollution, where they are much more likely to encounter glass."
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