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The (bird) band plays on

What a difference a week makes. My wife and I went out of town for a few days. When we left, brown was still the predominant color. When we returned, green was sprouting up all over! The buds had broken on most trees and young leaves were emerging in every direction. Daffodils were in full color and the smell of freshly cut grass was in the air. This all happened in a matter of days, or so it seemed. The symphony of bird song that had just started when I wrote my Nature’s Notebook column two weeks ago is now in full volume, with all the players contributing to a melodious fanfare. This is the time of year when our resident birds are not only joined by our migrating birds returning home to breed, but also by those migrants that are just passing through on their way to nesting grounds farther north. These additional birds, pausing in our forests to refuel, add to the musical mix.Luckily for us, there is no shortage of places to witness this phenomenon. Audubon’s Miles Wildlife Sanctuary and Sharon Audubon Center are two of the best, but we are also fortunate to host miles of the Appalachian Trail in addition to the Housatonic State Forest, Mohawk State Forest, Housatonic Meadows State Park, Macedonia Brook State Park, the White Memorial Conservation Foundation and many more.These are extremely valuable resources to have in our midst; each is easy to get to, unique and extremely important for birds and other wildlife. A mere 30-minute walk at Housatonic Forest, across from the Miles Wildlife Sanctuary, this week revealed 15 species of birds. Time flies by, and so do the birds. Don’t miss this great transitional season. Our birdlife is spectacular all summer long, but this is the time when it really shines.As a parting note, Saturday is Audubon’s annual Birdathon to raise money for local conservation initiatives, education programs and animal care. In true “thon” fashion, birders and pledges are both greatly appreciated. Call the center for more information. Happy Birding! Scott Heth is the director of Audubon Sharon and can be reached at sheth@audubon.org, (subject line: Nature Notes).

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