Naturalist News – September 2010

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (female)
In a few weeks, this female Ruby-throated Hummingbird will be migrating.

Here in Philadelphia…
September is a wonderful time in Philadelphia. The days and nights are cooler. And the trees begin to turn luscious colors.

In this issue of our e-mail newsletter the focus is on planning for trips to see the great migrations. The Philadelphia area is just the place to see the migration of birds of prey, Monarch butterflies and neotropical birds, like warblers, returning to their winter homes further south.

Migrations in this area will last into November. But, don’t wait to the last minute to plan a trip. Your local Audubon Society most likely has trips to see bird migrations in the area. These trips are usually open to the public to come along.

Natural History to Read

“The Migration of Birds”

Hawk Mountain’s Guide to Raptor Watching – don’t miss the “Best Times to See Raptors”, it  is useful in timing trips.

Day Trips to See Migrations in the Philadelphia Area

Hawk Mountain and Bake Oven Knob
Hawk Mountain is a word famous site for watching raptors. People come from all over the world to observe and study on the mountain. It is located along the Kittatinny Mountain Range.

Cape May Point State Park
One of my favorite places is a great place to watch the migration of raptors, other birds, dragonflies and Monarch butterflies. Cape May, NJ is one of the premier places to watch both spring and autumn migrations.

Fort Washington State Park
All 16 of the raptors species that fly through Hawk Mountain also fly through Fort Washington State Park. At this park just outside of Philadelphia watch the raptors sail overhead, without the long drive!
There is a hawk watching platform with volunteers on duty daily. The hawk watch starts September 1 and runs through October 31. Militia Hill Hawk Watch
Daily Hawk Count

Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele)
Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeri cybele) on Joe-Pye Weed.

Nature Calendar
September 8 – New Moon
September 15 – First Quarter Moon
September 22 – Autumnal Equinox, Fall officially begins
September 23 – Full Moon
September 23 – in Southern hemisphere – Vernal Equinox, Spring officially begins
September 30 – Last Quarter Moon


Audubon Pennsylvania to find local chapters and their field trips.

Swamp Rose Mallow (Hibiscus palustris)
Swamp Rose Mallow (Hibisus palustris) in bloom.

All photos and text copyright Donna L. Long, 2010.

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