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Birds in Summer - The Heat of the Day

When bugs are busy, so are the birds!

Just a few weeks past the solstice, and the real heat of summer is yet to come. Some shorebirds are already on their way south, but most songbirds will be here for a while longer. What's the best time of day to look for them? Many birds are most active in the early morning, taking advantage of the abundance of insects at that hour. Midday heat sends people inside, and birds take a siesta, too. And then, both birds and bugs rev up again in the late afternoon. But hummingbirds and also gulls — including this Glaucous-winged Gull — forage all day long!

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®
Birds in Summer — The Heat of the Day

Written by Ellen Blackstone

This is BirdNote!

[Strains of “Summertime,” with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong]

It’s just a few weeks past the solstice, and the real heat of summer is yet to come. Some shorebirds are already on their way south, but most songbirds will be here for a while longer. What’s the best time of day to look for them?

Well, many birds are most active in the morning, not long after sunrise [Midsummer ambient with warblers, towhees et al.], taking advantage of the abundance of insects at that hour.

As summer waxes and temperatures rise, midday heat sends people inside, and birds take a siesta, too.

And then, both birds and bugs rev up again in the late afternoon. [Medley of songbirds] In the early morning, and again near dusk -- just about the time mosquitoes are biting -- that’s when birds are busiest. [Mosquito buzzing]

One exception is gulls: you’ll see them soaring and feeding throughout the day, because their preferred foods — whether a salmon fry or a French fry — are available all day long [Glaucous-winged Gull ruckus]. Hummingbirds are out and about, too, because their frantic metabolism requires that they feed almost constantly. But mostly, midday is a quiet time for birds.

Are you looking for birds this summer? The cooler parts of the day are the best for a stroll, and the best for watching birds. [Strains of “Summertime"]

For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.

###

Audio provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York.  Spotted Towhee recorded by G.A. Keller, Glaucous-winged Gull by B.J. McCaffery, Insects recorded by G.F. Budney.
Ambient sound track recorded by C. Peterson
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer:  John Kessler
Executive Producer:  Chris Peterson
© 2015 Tune In to Nature.org     July 2017     Narrator: Mary McCann

ID#070907heatKPLU   summer-01b

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