September Nature Notes

Sept. 1: Full Moon, Sept. 17: New Moon.

Sept. 22: Autumn Equinox – almost equal amounts of day and night.

First Saturday in September: International Vulture Awareness Day.

Do not take down your hummingbird feeders. Their migration is not correlated to feeders being available!

Northern Flickers, Catbirds, thrushes (Hermit, Wood, Gray-cheeked, Swainson's, and Veery), and up to 17 species of warblers begin migrating through the area.

Shorebird migration continues.

Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, Titmice, woodpeckers, and Blue Jays begin hiding food for the winter. Watch them visit feeders for sunflower and peanuts in the shell, which they'll take and store between pieces of tree bark, in old woodpecker holes, etc.

Winter feeding flocks begin to form up. Chickadees, Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, and Downy Woodpeckers typically form the core of these flocks, locally. Migrating birds will often join up with these flocks, taking advantage of the flock's knowledge of local food and water sources. Joining a feeding flock can also provide additional protection from predators. If you hear or spot chickadees, take the time to scan the flock for other birds. Migrating Ruby-crowned and Golden-Crowned Kinglets, Winter Wrens, Brown Creepers, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Sapsuckers, and various warbler species are likely to mix with these flocks in September and October.

Purple Martins depart by late September.

The first White-throated Sparrows and Juncos may appear by the end of the month.

Blackbird flocks consisting of grackles, cowbirds, and red-wingeds can number in the thousands.

Most Ruby-throated Hummingbirds depart by the end of month.

Chimney Swift migration peaks. Look for them in the sky above Erie.

Robins are in large flocks, feeding on crab apples and other fruit.

Broad-winged Hawk migration peaks mid- to late-month.

Eastern Monarch Butterflies continue their migration south.

Cicadas and Katydids continue calling, especially during warm days.

Bucks polishing antlers - look for buck rubs on trees.

Bats are busy feeding as they build fat reserves for migration and hibernation.

Leaves of sumac, tulip trees, dogwood, and Virginia creeper begin turning.

Jack-in-the-pulpit, highbush cranberry and spicebush berries are ripe.

Wildflowers in bloom include bottle gentian, obedient-plant, jewelweed, New England asters, turtlehead, goldenrods, nodding ladies'-tresses, and more.