Date: 9/14/20 7:56 am
From: Gail Mackiernan <katahdinss...>
Subject: Re: [MDBirding] any research on migrant traps?
Actually, the way I heard it, it was Greg Gough who first figured out that - due to its elevation as one of the highest points in DC, thus catching the sun first (which causes insects to become active), as well as being on a green N/S corridor through the city - the Ridge at RCP would be a migrant trap. And it was, for decades... as described the Claudia Wild’s 1990s era bird-finding guide to DC.

When we were birding RCP in the 90’s and 2000’s, the Ridge was where to be at dawn and then as the sun rose, more vegetated areas like the Yard or the Dog Run would be better. We have not regularly birded RCP for almost a decade, and I get the impression that the Ridge is no longer as good as it once was. Have heard from longtime RCP birders that removal of vegetation - vines, brush and rough weeds- has made it less attractive but not sure if this is true. Certainly bird numbers have declined significantly.

Gail Mackiernan
Colesville

Sent from my iPad

> On Sep 14, 2020, at 10:22 AM, 'Russ Ruffing' via Maryland & DC Birding <mdbirding...> wrote:
>
> My 5.5 acre yard adjacent to Patapsco State Park In Howard County is a high point more or less, and has been a fantastic location for migrants over the years. My morning yard surveys during migration routinely match or exceed the numbers and diversity of known locations like Rock Creek and Wheaton, and most times it’s just me surveying vs multiple birders at those locations. Over the years I’ve noticed that birds tend to be flying up from the Patapsco River valley to my location at sunrise, ostensibly to forage in the trees that catch the early sun. So higher elevations may be favored simply because they catch the sun earlier than other locations.
>
> Russ Ruffing
> Woodstock, MD
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
>> On Sep 14, 2020, at 8:59 AM, John Stith <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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