Sense of Place: A Birds Eye View
Springtime is filled with sightings of all kinds of exciting natural wonders. The season’s outdoor appeal makes it a perfect time of year not only for enjoying our natural surroundings, but for learning about conservation and species preservation, too!
In particular, springtime is the season for bird sightings as Western Massachusetts becomes filled with a variety of migrating bird species in the early spring months. Species to look for in the spring include Baltimore Orioles, Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern Whip-Poor-Wills, American Kestrels, Indigo Buntings, Cedar Waxwings, American Robins, Carolina Wrens, American Goldfinches, Great Blue Herons, Red-winged Blackbirds, and many others! Knowing the names of the birds we share our home with and being able to identify them by their songs and behavior helps us connect to the seasons and strengthens our sense of place.
Mass Audubon’s website has a comprehensive list to support an interest in ornithology. Visit local sanctuaries, including Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton, home to a rookery with over 50 blue heron nests and nesting bald eagles.
Download a bird checklist on the Mass Audubon website to bring with you on your birding excursions during every season to keep track of your various bird sightings. Afterwards, you can be a citizen scientist and submit your sightings to Mass Audubon’s eBird page in collaboration with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to help them understand the population distribution at their properties!
[Photo credit: (c) Sienna Wildfield]
Download our March/April edition of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts for embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.