Nature Happenings - 2022

August 2022

Birds will "dust bathe" to rid their feathers of mites and other parasites. This also helps birds to maintain the optimum amount of oil on their feathers.
Flocks of nighthawks can be seen late in the month.
Shorebird migration builds and waterfowl migration starts.
Monarch Butterfly migration begins.
Early warblers (Cape May, Tennessee, Magnolia, Blackburnian) migrate through the area.
Squirrels give birth to their second brood.
Deer are shedding the velvet off their antlers.
Broad-winged Hawk migration begins.
Chimney Swifts can be seen in large flocks over chimneys at dusk.
American Goldfinches finish nesting late this month.
Second brood of hummingbirds begin to appear at feeders.
Perseids Meteor shower is mid-month.

July 2022

NABA National Butterfly count.
First brood of immature hummingbirds begin to show up at nectar feeders early in the month.
Except for goldfinches and late bluebirds, bird breeding and nesting season ends this month.
Thistle plants begin to seed; goldfinches gather thistledown for nesting material.
Mallards and Wood Ducks molt into "eclipse" plumage and are unable to fly for several weeks.
Blackbirds begin to flock and appear at feeders.
Listen for the feeding screeches of young Barred and Great Horned Owls.
Delta Aquarids Meteor shower peaks in late-July.

June 2022

June is Perennial Garden Month & National Rivers Month
Many seed-eating birds swallow small stones which remain in the gizzard, a muscular part of the stomach. The stones in the gizzard help break up hard seeds and nuts.
Bird migration is finished. Birds that are here now are summer residents that nest.
Fawns continue to be born through mid-month.
Wood Duck and Mallard ducklings hatch and venture forth early in the month.
Canada Geese begin molting.
Bats give birth.
Mosquitoes can become a problem.
Be sure to keep your feeders and bird baths clean and your seed fresh.

May 2022

In early May, the Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Wood-Pewees, Sedge and Marsh Wrens return from winter their habitats.
In early to mid-May, vireos and cuckoos return from their winter habitats.
Nighthawks are not hawks, but members of the nightjar family. They are common in cities and around streetlights 'hawking' for insects.
Lilacs reach full bloom.
Peak of warbler migration early in month.
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, nighthawks, Wood Thrush, Veerys and Chimney Swifts return.
Sub-adult Purple Martins return to establish new colonies early in month.
Peak of bird courtship. Listen for the morning chorus.
Orioles return and begin nesting.
The year's first fireflies can be seen.
Chickadees and titmice become scarce at feeders as they nest and raise their young.
Eta Aquarids meteor shower is early-May.
International Migratory Bird Day is mid-May.

April 2022

Project FeederWatch ends this month,
Hummingbirds arrive; be sure to have their feeders ready.
Robins typically nest April through July and can bear 2-3 broods in a season. The female does most of the nest building. Put out a pan of mud and nesting materials and watch her collect materials to make her nest.
Watch for Red-headed Woodpeckers around mid-April.
Northern Mockingbirds, Lark Sparrows, Green Herons, swallows and kingbirds return from winter habitats.
Eastern Towhee’s return to scratch around under bird feeders. They can be heard and seen dashing in and out of low brushy thickets, but prefer to sing from higher and more open perches.
Woodcocks continue their “sky dance” courtship flights.
Flickers are establishing their territories.
Watch for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds toward the end of the month.
Lyrids meteor shower, late-April.
Earth Day, April 22.

March 2022

Project FeederWatch continues,
White Pelicans can be seen in large flocks on rivers, lakes and ponds as they begin their migration northward.
Chipping Sparrows return and Swamp Sparrows start their migration in mid- to late-March.
Like the European Starling, House Sparrows were introduced to the US from Europe and have spread across the country.
Bald Eagles, Screech Owls are sitting on their eggs.
Purple Martins return by the middle of the month; be sure to have your houses ready.
Woodcocks are doing courtship flights.
Cardinals and robins begin nesting.
Bluebirds begin nesting by the end of the month.
Begin monitoring houses middle of the month.
Phoebes return this month.
Goldfinches begin to molt into their brilliant yellow plumage.

February 2022

Great Backyard Bird Count, mid-month,
Project FeederWatch continues,
February is National Bird Feeding Month
Look for Eastern Bluebirds.
Bluebird and other nesting boxes need to be cleaned out this month.
Eastern Meadowlarks return from their winter habitats in late February.
Red-winged Blackbirds, Killdeer and Great Blue Herons return.
Kildeer are members of the plover family and are known for their "distraction display," pretending to have a broken wing to divert predators from its ground nest.
Watch for Sandhill Cranes migrating north in late February.
Grackles return north.
Bald Eagles begin their nesting behaviors.
Chipmunks reappear at feeders as temperatures rise.

January 2022

Project FeederWatch continues,
An increasing number of Bald Eagles can be seen on small lakes and rivers.
Snowy Owls may visit barren corn and bean fields for winter feeding grounds.
Watch at dusk for Short-eared Owls hunting marsh lands.
There are frequent irruptions of Snowy Owls in Illinois during the winter months.
Cardinals flocking; they're usually the first and last birds to be seen at feeders.
Skunk Cabbage is the first flower of the year to bloom.
During late January or early February, Great Horned Owls will be sitting on their eggs.
Late in the month, as days lengthen, Tufted Titmice and cardinals begin to sing.
Start planning your butterfly and bird gardens this month.
Now through late March is a difficult time for birds; providing food and an open source of water is important.
Aldo Leopold's (Father of Wildlife Conservation) birthday Jan. 11
Quadrantid Meteor Shower early in the month. See up to 60 falling meteors per hour!