Date: 9/14/20 7:49 am
From: Steve Long <steve.long4...>
Subject: Re: [MDBirding] any research on migrant traps?
When I lived in Cape St. Claire, on the north side of Broadneck
Peninsula in Anne Arundel County, I had obvious migrants in the springs
and autumns that I did not see other times or elsewhere.

It is a relatively high area that sticks out into the Chesapeake Bay,
and I had reliable seed and water, both at elevated and ground levels. 
There were large trees on my lot and a wooded lot next to it with
undergrowth and ground cover.  It seemed that migrating birds would stop
there for a day or maybe just a few hours.

I suspect it has something to do with birds looking for a convenient and
safe place to rest.  Once, while sailing in very dense fog, tens of
miles east of Long Island, NY, a flock of Baltimore Orioles came out of
the fog and began circling my boat, which was motoring south at the
time.  Eventually, a male landed on my lifeline, and all the others flew
off into the fog except for one female.  That female circled the boat
for an hour while the male rested.  Even when the male moved and hid
inside one of my dorade vents, the female kept circling and never landed
on the boat.  After about an hour, the male came out and it flew off
into the fog with the female, headed roughly northward.  I don't know if
that over-water route is normal for Baltimore Orioles, or if they were
lost in the fog and had inadvertently strayed over water.  They were
flying low, and may all have been looking for someplace to land.  At
least one definitely seemed to need to rest.

Steve Long

On 9/14/2020 8:58 AM, John Stith wrote:
> I've been wondering why migrant traps -- places that attract a lot of
> migrating birds -- are where they are.
>
> I read this nicely detailed description of the maintenance yard area
> of Rock Creek Park in DC. It points out the the yard is at the top of
> a hill that is higher than most of its surroundings.
>
> http://www.thebirdist.com/2015/10/a-crudely-drawn-guide-to-birding-at-dcs.html
>
> Is elevation part of what makes a migrant trap? Peninsulas like Cape
> May in New Jersey make a lot of sense, but what about inland. How
> would one go about identifying a migrant trap in a place not already
> widely known. Does anyone know of any published research on this?
>
> Thanks!
> John Stith
> Chillum, Md.
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