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Bird in Tree

Support Birds During Fall Migration

Painted Bunting Sitting on Plants

Simple Ways You Can Support Birds This Fall

The dwindling heat of summer signals autumn has arrival. Each fall, nearly two billion birds travel through Texas. This migration route known as the Central Flyway spans from the Canadian tundra to the Texas Gulf Coast. Peak migration times in Eastern Texas happen from September 6 to October 29.

The expansive journey requires frequent stops for refueling. Read on for simple ways you can help support migratory birds as they make their pilgrimage.

Be sure to check with your local Audubon Society for current recommendations for safe feeding.
Find Your Local Chapter of The Audubon Society

Provide Fuel For The Journey

Have you ever been on a long road trip and needed to stop off at a gas station to refuel on some tasty snacks? Migratory birds face a similar situation when making the journey. There are a few ways you can be that rest stop for tired, hungry birds.
  • Hang a couple of bird feeders throughout your yard, adding easily accessible seeds and nuts for birds to snack on. For hummingbirds, a simple nectar mix in a dispenser will do.
  • Leave those leaves! By not clearing all the fallen leaf clutter you're allowing the perfect foraging material for birds to find tasty grubs.
  • Planting fall seed-bearing plants like the Yaupon Holly can provide an ample amount of seed for hungry birds.
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Hummingbird drinks water

Hydration For The Long Migration

Installing small running water features in your yard like fountains can be a true lifesaver for birds passing by. Running water will attract birds for a drink or a quick bath before continuing on.

Create Habitat And Shelter

Planting evergreen trees that don't lose their foliage in the winter months provide birds with a place to shelter during turbulent weather. You can also put up birdhouses in trees or near your home to provide additional shelter. Blue Spruce or Strawberry Trees are great options for shelter trees.
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Participate In Lights Out, Texas

Lights Out, Texas is a state-wide education and conservation campaign that focuses on turning out lights at night during the spring and fall migrations. During their spring and fall journeys, many of these birds travel at night. However, the excessive light from urban areas and suburbs can disrupt their natural navigation, causing confusion. This disorientation not only hampers their migration but also depletes their energy reserves, which are vital for the rest of their expedition.

General Guidelines for Everyone:
  • The National Audubon Society recommends turning off lights from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. each night during migration season. Critical peak migration: September 6 - October 29.
  • Avoid using landscape lighting during this time to light up trees or gardens where birds may be resting.
  • For essential lighting, use motion detectors, aim lighting down, and close blinds at night to avoid emitting light from windows.
Learn More About Light Out, Texas

Learn More About Your Feathered Friends

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