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on Sep 22, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

First Day of Fall!

Snow Geese
captured by D5 / 800mm

Yep, as of 07:31 MDT today, it’s officially fall. Fall for many means spectacular color draping our forests. And while I relish that aspect of fall, it’s not all this day brings. There is the light as the sun rides the equator bringing a low angle and mellowness to its rays. And I love that but fall for me signals the change in our critters, especially birds. Now is when heading south hits the panic button and the skies become filled with our summer friends!

What science and technology bring to this seasonal magic blows my mind! Head to Live Bird Migration Maps and you will see how the wave of birds move south across North America. At times, you can tell what species of birds other, it’s simply sheer numbers which even with the disasters that have hit our wild heritage is still staggering. For us, this fall is especially exciting as it’s all new.

New, because we’ve moved up the globe and down slope. We knew pretty much to the day when we lived in the Sierra what birds would be in our feeders but here in the Bitterroots, it’s all new and very exciting (now up to 52 species). What has remained the same is we are still providing food, water, and shelter, the three things migrants depend on. The Snow Geese you see in the photo above is a prime example of this system. They nested in Canada and regions north then they head south with this population wintering in New Mexico where they have food, water, and shelter.

This is a great time to get into backyard bird photography. All you need is a camera, lens, food, water and shelter and you’ll quickly have friends. If you need more help, lots of resources here on the website and you can always email specific questions. Put out the welcome mat, you’ll soon have new friends because it’s the first day of fall!

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