Here’s the ultimate guide to Spring birds!
If you’re interested in welcoming Spring with some cute and adorable birds, look out for these beauties…
What Birds Do When They Come Back For Spring
Change their looks
Since spring also happens to be the mating season, many birds grow long plumages and some of them have feathers in special shapes to attract their prospective mates.
See Also: The Ultimate Guide to Beautiful Birds
Sing more frequently
In spring, birds sing more frequently throughout the season. Although the calls and alarms of birds change all around the year, the most impressive and elaborate songs are sung in the spring season.
Such beautiful tones are used to claim and defend territories, impress mates as well as communicate their availability.
For example, woodpeckers and sage grouse use resonant surfaces for drumming to communicate with prospective mates for mating.
Separate themselves from flocks
Birds arrive in large numbers as flocks during spring. However, they tend to split from the flight group in search of mates.
Since many birds tend to start a family in spring, the act of separating themselves from their respective groups is a common trend.
Even flocks, that have remained as a family for numerous months after the previous nesting season, have shown tendencies to break away to seek out first mates.
Undergo diet changes
Humans are not the only species that undertake a deliberate change in diet; birds also follow the pattern particularly in spring.
As the insect and bug population rises in spring, birds tend to feast on them.
Apart from this, the mating season requires birds to have more calcium in their diet as they can help a great deal of formation of healthy eggs.
This diet change, in turn, benefits newborn chicks in their growth and development phases.
Spring is the dating season in the animal kingdom.
After breaking up with the usual bird flocks, individual birds will show their plumes, sing songs, dance and conduct many enticing moves to attract mates.
To impress the strong and healthy mates, the birds often gather in temporary communal lekking grounds to get their ‘feathered’ dating scene all spiced up.
Food gathering and mutual grooming are some other activities that happen during the dating season for birds.
Become more aggressive
Aggressive behavior is common, as birds tend to chase away competition to avoid being ignored during the spring season.
Since competition is at an all-time high during nesting season, birds more vicious towards their counterparts on feeding grounds and dating scenes.
To improve their chances of getting the best mates, birds feel the compulsion to defend their territories with aggressive behavior.
Funny actions like attacking their own reflection in the mirror, shiny objects, etc. are some of the aggressive ways in which birds react when they mistakenly believe their reflections to be intruders.
Hide from people and predators
Some of the peace-loving types of birds get a little more secretive as nesting season approaches during springtime.
These birds usually build their nests on the ground level and have a core responsibility to protect their chicks or loved ones from predators.
Therefore, they become quiet and stay hidden in thick vegetation to avoid detection.
Build their nest
One of the primary requisites of the breeding season is a nest, and a bird usually builds its home in the springtime.
However, one noticeable aspect of home building in the spring season is that birds tend to be extra careful and ‘perfect’ in building their nests.
They use the best materials like lichen, moss, soft leaves, etc. to cushion and soften the inside of their home so as to protect eggs. Males are more likely to build beautiful nests as a part of their mate-attraction strategy.
Overall, the spring season is the time when you can see the architect in a bird surfacing much to nature’s delight.
Beautiful Garden Spring Birds To See This Spring
Spring season brings in some of the best birds in view and often enrich the nature’s view with pure visual delight. Here are some of the birds that you can find out during the springtime.
Wheatear arrives as early as in the last part of February but they are found in plenty by mid-April.
The males look larger than Robins with colors of peach, black, white, blue and grey mixed over while the female has a more passive, sanded look of its male counterpart.
The Wheatear has a striking black mask, that looks like a ‘robbers’ mask which is identifiable from a good distance.
During migration, Wheatears can be found anywhere – right from inland golf courses to livestock fields; however, coastal grasslands are the best places to look for them.
The moorlands and uplands in UK are one of the best breeding places for this bird on the planet as they look for old rabbit burrows to nest.
Apart from the UK, Wheatears migrate to Greenland, Iceland, and Alaska too.
Swallows are legendary for their migration during spring covering nearly 10,000 km from South Africa to Europe across the Sahara Desert.
The blue-colored bird, known as barn swallow, has the ability to navigate to the exact place they have nested previously.
Male swallows sing and flaunt their long tail streamers to attract mates while female swallows switch between multiple broods and males.
They are known to eat insects and build cup-shaped nests from mud and dry vegetation in barns and outhouses when they are ready to settle down for laying eggs.
The greyish, long-tailed cuckoo migrates from Congo Rainforest to Europe during spring and tends to arrive mostly in mid of April.
They are cunning and alluring with their high-pitched singing and entice females all during spring.
Cuckoos breed in a variety of habitats but individual birds usually take up the nest of other birds to lay eggs.
A female can lay up to 20 eggs during the breeding season depending on its preference of host(s).
Reed warblers, dunnocks, and pied wagtails are usually the hosts who raise surrogate cuckoo chicks which is an astonishing sight.
Nightingales are harder to spot but you can hear them from miles. This bird may look dull in brown color, but it has a bright red tail that makes the sulking bird look gorgeous.
One of the best songs notes from a bird, the nightingale manages to capture the hearts of both humans and other animals after it migrates from Guinea, West Africa for spring.
Single males tend to sing during the entire night probably to attract females and their songs usually begin from early May.
Pulborough Brooks in West Sussex, UK is a good place to see them; but often near water and woodlands, the birds set up breeding and nesting ground away from lurking eyes.
Nightingales feed on insects, mostly ants, and beetles from the ground. The bird is known for producing over 1000 different sounds, thanks to the larger part of the brain in charge of creating sound.
Swift arrives from the Congo Rainforest during the first week of May and looks for breeding avenues with suitable mates. Overall, swifts have a darker belly as compared to swallows that have a dark throat with a pale white belly.
They mostly concentrate on mating throughout the spring season and are one of the serious birds when it comes to breeding.
Swifts are astonishingly adapted to a ‘life on the wing’ as they can feed and sleep while in flight landing only for laying eggs and feeding their chicks.
They can close one-half of their brains for ‘sleeping’ while using the other half to remain airborne, a useful trick that helps them cover great distances during migration.
The Northern Flicker is a type of woodpecker that hunts for insects on the ground.
Male flickers have spotted breast, a striped grayish-black back, and black overall and red marks below the eyes.
The females are colored similarly but do not have red marks.
The males have repetitive tunes and drum their heads against hollow objects to seek females as well as establish territory.
The Red-winged Blackbird is found in urban wetlands or any marshy areas in spring.
Males have an all-black plumage with red and yellow marks near their shoulders while females look like large sparrows and have different tones of yellow near their beaks.
They have an echoing sound and males have a special way of expanding their body to force the song out.
Their entire body moves like bellow and is meant to attract females.
Males are notably aggressive as springtime is a highly competitive time for chasing away other males from the breeding territory.
The male Rufous Hummingbird has orange and amber feathers and the word ‘rufous’ means reddish brown. Females have a greenish belt with a white belly along with orange and amber feathers.
One of the most aggressive birds in the spring, the Rufous Hummingbird, can be seen scaring away other males when it comes to feeding in a particular location and they make steep dives to impress females.
They are fierce in defending their mating territories and nests. Backyard feeders or friendly-looking flowers are the way to see them as they constantly feed on manmade or natural feeding avenues.
Green Herons are shy and are the smaller cousin to the Great Blue Heron. They have deep emerald green feathers on their backs and wings with an auburn breast and a dark bill.
Found mostly in grassy wetland and marshes, the Green Heron has yellow-orange feet and a croak or a dog-like bark in addition to chirping sound.
In the spring, the green herons migrate to northern parts of the United States for breeding. They are among the few birds that are known to use tools – like dropping food on the water to attract fish and catch them.
American Robins are found in urban areas throughout the year but their presence is more prominent during springs due to their cheery whistling songs.
The bird has a yellow bill, bright orange breast with gray back and a bit darker head.
They perch on trees with fruits and hunt for worms on grassy lands.
In spring, American Robins are aggressive about their territory and can even lead to small fights in the air between males or attack their own reflections in windows or glass buildings.
Spring Bird Tips
Here are some subtle ways to prepare for the spring and take care of birds if you are an avid bird watcher and a fan.
Preparing your garden for spring birds
Preparing your garden for spring can help birds to find food and adjust to the surroundings easily.
Small things like setting up a birdbath, putting out crushed eggshells for birds to make nests, adding multiple fruits or dish feeders with seeds, planting your garden with native plants, etc. can be a subtle way so as to help the bird in spring.
Bird-Friendly Plants for Your Garden
Planting Holly, Ivy, Hawthorn, Honeysuckle, Rowan, Teasel, Cotoneaster, Sunflower, Guelder Rose, Rose shrubs, etc. are good plants for birds visiting in springs.
Some plants attract insects while others bear fruits and berries for birds to eat.
Garden Essentials for spring
Following aspects are essential in the garden for birds in the spring season:
- Clean the garden of any debris and weeds.
- Revitalize dry soil with organic compost, mulch or manure, and moisture.
- Prune overgrown plants.
- Plant new flowering plants and shrubs
The above areas will improve the quality of your garden for spring birds so as to help them in adapting to the new surrounding post-migration.
How to Build a Bird Bath?
Birdbaths are easy to build. However, you can also buy ready-made bird-baths from the market. However, tippy clay pots, recycled glassware, small open teapots, stacking stones, etc. can be used to build a birdbath.
The idea is to keep a good access area for multiple birds and see to it that they are not stuck while moving around in the bath.
How to Feed the Birds Correctly?
Birds usually feed on seeds, hence using a bird feeder often helps in easing the purpose of feeding. Peanut feeders, seed feeders, hopper type feeders, etc. can be installed in your garden for feeding birds in spring.
What To Do When You Found A Baby Bird Outside Its Nest?
If the birds are just in their nestling stage, they might fall off from their nest. Try to locate the nest and place them gently back into the nest.
If some animals or reptiles damage the nest, build a surrogate nest or use a good cage for the nestling. Monitor the bird and keep it in view so that the parent returns to their offspring; treat any injury if required.
Use gloves while handling birds and keep them secure and warm after you get them into safety. Call local animal control authorities or a licensed wildlife rehabilitator if you are unsure of the procedures.
Spring Bird Watching Events
Here is a list of some amazing bird watching events around the world:
- Festival of Birds
- Huron Fringe Birding Festival
- Festival de las Aves de Medellín
- Batumi Birding Festival
- Indian Bird Fair
- Eilat Birds Festival
- Jalisco – Vallarta Bird Festival
- Gauteng – Sasol Bird Fair
- Extremadura – Extremadura Bird Watching Fair
- Norfolk Bird and Wildlife Fair
- Rutland Water – British Bird Fair
- Scotland – Edinburgh – Scottish Birdfair
- Spurn Migration Festival
- WWT Martin Mere – North West Bird Watching Festival
- Alaska – Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival
- Arizona – Santa Cruz Nature & Heritage Festival
- California – Godwit Days
- Colorado – Ute Mountain Mesa Verde Birding Festival
- Florida – Annual Wings and Wildflowers Festival
- Hawaii – Hawai’i Island Festival of Birds
- Idaho – Dubois Grouse Days
- Louisiana – Great Louisiana BirdFest
- Michigan – Leelanau Peninsula Birdfest
- Mississippi – Mississippi River Nature Weekend
- New Mexico – Festival of the Cranes
- Texas – Galveston FeatherFest & Nature PhotoFest
- Washington – Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest
- Wisconsin – Door County Festival of Nature
- Wyoming – Spring into Yellowstone Birding and Wildlife Festival
What bird is the first sign of spring?
The sight of a robin is considered the first sign of spring. If you see a robin eating worms, singing on perches, etc., these are all indications of the arrival of spring.
What birds do you see in spring?
Lesser goldfinch, Great kiskadee, Oriole, Red-bellied woodpecker, American robin, Black-capped chickadee, Eastern bluebird, Northern cardinal, Ruby-throated hummingbird, etc. are some of the lovely birds that you can find in spring.
Apart from these, the birds listed in the article above are also commonly found during spring
Do cardinals come out in the spring?
Cardinals can be found throughout the day in almost any season and do not migrate. They do not change the color of their plumage according to season. They usually pair up before winter ends and remain together awaiting the spring.
Where do birds go in spring?
Spring is the ideal time to attract a mate and have an offspring hatched in warm weather later. Apart from this, there is plenty of food for the whole breed during spring.
Therefore, birds return to their native lands after winter when nature is fresh with new sprouts, insects and free from snow and cold weather.
What happens to birds in spring?
Birds are more vocal in spring. Spring is the mating season; many birds entice their counterparts using melodious tunes, dance, and display of aggressive behavior to assert dominance over territory.
This often helps them to meet suitable partners for mating and nesting.
Why are birds so loud in spring?
The loud noise, chirps or vocals made by male birds are mainly to attract female birds. Apart from this, loud chirps are often a sign of aggression to scare away other male birds and mark their territory.
Male birds seek out partners with loud tunes and often display numerous tactics like dancing to impress females to mate with them.