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Continued: A river of birds migrates over the Mississippi

  • Article by: VAL CUNNINGHAM , Contributing Writer
  • Last update: September 17, 2013 - 3:19 PM

St. Paul resident Val Cunningham, who volunteers with the St. Paul Audubon Society and writes about nature for local, regional and national newspapers and magazines, can be reached at val​writes@comcast.net.

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  • Most songbirds migrate after dark, but blackbirds, such as these red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds with a few brown-headed cowbirds mixed in, fly during daylight hours.

  • Ways you can help

    Please keep migrants and resident birds in mind while doing fall garden chores:

    • Don’t deadhead spent flowers; let them stand to provide seed and concealed insects.

    • Eliminate the use of pesticides in your yard and garden. Chemicals not only can harm birds but also kill off an important food source: insects.

    • Plant a native tree or shrub to provide food and shelter for birds.

    • Maintain a clean birdbath — migration is a hot and dusty business.

    • Set out a sprinkler with a low setting from time to time to enjoy the migrants it attracts.

    Val Cunningham

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