Winchester, Virginia

 

 Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet 

 

 September Nature Happenings

      • Important migration month! More birds are in our area now than any other month. Keep the seed and suet feeders full!
      • First Juncos and White-throated Sparrows can appear by the end of this month, favorite food is millet.
      • Hummingbird numbers peak towards end of the month. Keep feeders full.
      • Blackbird (grackles, cowbirds and redwings) flocks can number in the thousands.
      • Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Golden-crowned Kinglets appear from their northern breeding grounds in northern Canada and Alaska, towards the end of the month. They love suet.
      • Most warblers have migrated but the Yellow-rumped Warbler is arriving from the north.
      • American Goldfinch juveniles can be seen and heard harassing adults for food at feeders. Also look for them in your flower beds with Coneflowers, Black-eyed Susan’s and other seed-producing flowers.
      • Robins are in large flocks, feeding on crab apples and other berry producing shrubs and trees.
      • American Goldfinch adults begin their second molt. By the end of October, it will be hard to tell the male from the female Goldfinch. Check out David Sibley’s molting sequence for the Goldfinch at: http://www.sibleyguides.com/2012/05/the-annual-plumage-cycle-of-a-male-american-goldfinch/
      • Raptors begin their southern migration. Visit Hawk Mountain, PA. This is a Wild Birds Unlimited “Pathways to Nature” site. Major month for Broad-winged Hawks numbering into the hundreds on some days - you may see 'kettles' of 1,000 Broad-winged Hawks.
      • Peak migration for Sharp-shinned Hawks and Bald Eagles.
      • Turtle eggs hatch; hatchlings head for the nearest water.
      • Monarch Butterfly migration peaks mid-month, September 16-22, migrating 50 – 100 miles in a day.
      • Wooly Caterpillars are out and about. Did you know they freeze solid during the winter?
      • Bats are busy feeding, building fat for hibernation and migration.
      • Bucks are polishing their antlers; look for buck rubs.
      • Ripe hickory nuts, walnuts and other “mast” may distract squirrels from your feeders.
      • Goldenrod and Asters are in bloom.

       

      Special Dates

       

      • September 5, best view of Neptune, sunset thru sunrise, as it is closest to the Earth.
      • September 4, Labor Day: WBU Closed on Labor Day
      • Full Moon, September 6, known as the “Harvest Moon” because the strong moon light allowed early settlers to work late into the night harvesting their crops.
      • September 12, Early Risers, look for Mercury in the Eastern Sky just before sunrise.
      • New Moon, September 20.
      • Autumn Begins, Autumnal Equinox, Friday, September 22. Summer is officially complete.

       

      Interesting Historical Dates for September:

       

      • September 1, 1914, Martha, the last Passenger Pigeon dies at the Cincinnati Zoo.
      • September 1, 1954,”Lassie” made her television debut saving Timmy for the next 19 years.
      • September 3, 1964, The Wilderness Act was signed into law.
      • September 17, 1949, The Road Runner (and his nemesis Wile E. Coyote) made his debut on the Silver Screen.
      • September 27, 1962, Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” hits the bookstores. “Silent Spring” is considered the #1 book on environmental conservation from the 20th century.