Peak of migration just in time for annual Spring Bird Count

Author Scott Weidensaul, in his marvelous book “Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds,” calls bird migration “the one truly unifying natural phenomenon.”

Birds of all sizes and species move through the air, “alive with the notes of unseen warblers and vireos, thrushes and orioles, sparrow and tanagers, filtering down through the moonlight like the voices of stars.”

This is migration, “stitching the continents together” in the “most compelling drama in all of natural history.”

And it’s happening as you read this.

These late days of April and the unsettled days of early May should bring the peak of the spring migration to western Colorado, in time for International Migratory Bird Day and the Grand Valley Audubon Society’s annual Spring Bird Count.

Because the actual height and timing of migration varies so greatly in the expanse from Latin America to Canada, most U.S. and Canada IMBD events take place in April and May, whereas fall events are the norm in the Caribbean and Latin America.

This year’s theme, no matter where or when it’s celebrated, is “Why Birds Matter: The Benefits of Birds to Humans and Nature.”

Celebrations include birding festivals and bird walks, education programs and official International Migratory Bird Day events.

The Grand Junction count features 12 teams of birders fanning out in pre-determined areas. No prior birding experience is necessary and there will be at least one experienced birder with each group.

Information and sign-up at


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