Date: 9/14/20 8:23 am
From: Marcia Watson <marshwren50...>
Subject: Re: [MDBirding] any research on migrant traps?
In contrast, my yard on Collington Branch, a tributary of the Patuxent River, is NOT a migrant trap. Our house sits on the south-facing slope of the Collington Branch stream valley, with a belt of trees between us and the stream, which flows through a wide marshy floodplain. Our house sits well below the ridge at the top of the stream valley, and the trees facing our house do not catch the morning sun. The stream flows from west to east behind our house, although it turns to flow to the south a short distance away. The stream valley has over 50 acres of good habitat and connects with other good strips of habitat. It’s a great sheltered spot for breeding or wintering birds, but does not attract migrants in any numbers. But for human comfort, we’re usually 5 degrees cooler in summer and 5 degrees warmer in winter, and sheltered from high winds.

Marcia
------------
Marcia Watson
Patuxent Bird Club
https://patuxentbirdclub.org/

Maryland Ornithological Society
https://mdbirds.org/

Friends of Patuxent
http://www.friendsofpatuxent.org/

Bowie, Maryland
<marshwren50...>


> On Sep 14, 2020, at 10:23 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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