Bird migrations begin to peak with full moon |

Bird migrations begin to peak with full moon

Locals have reported seeing birds around their house — and sometimes inside their house — like this juvenile Wilson's Warbler, still learning how to fly.
Getty Images

The Full Flower Moon, which peaks Friday, indicates spring buds, and that also means spring bird migrations to summer breeding grounds.

Thursday evening was big for warblers, a songbird easily identified by its trills. This is one of their single greatest migration nights of the spring, and the Roaring Fork Valley is home to thousands of warblers in warmer months. Warblers, found in a variety of colors from earthy tones to bright colors, are some of the first migratory birds to arrive in the Roaring Fork Valley come spring.  

Migratory birds fly at night, with the stars and moon aiding in migrations patterns. Hence, a full moon shines the brightest course. 

Greta Brown, marketing manager at Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, holds the first of the spring buds in early May.
Julie Bielenberg / Aspen Times

“It’s an exciting time of year for wildlife in the Roaring Fork Valley but especially for bird enthusiasts,” said Greta Brown, the marketing manager at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES). “Species we haven’t seen since the early fall are returning in droves, and it’s a constant, thrilling air show if you’re willing to look up,”

BirdCast is a website that provides real-time predictions of bird migrations: when they migrate, where they migrate, and how far they will be flying. The site indicated high migration patterns this week.

Created as a collaboration among the EPA, the National Audubon Society, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Clemson University Radar Ornithology Laboratory, the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, and GeoMarine Inc., the website delivers localized statistics, although mountainous terrain can interfere with their data collection.

A snapshot of birds flying over Colorado on Wednesday evening, May 3, 3023.
Courtesy of BirdCast

ACES is already alive with spring migratory bird life — at all three sites.

“The first hummingbirds arrived about a week ago, and the Great blue herons are back,” said Jim Kravitz, naturalist programs director.