November can truly be a month of extremes with lingering warm days as well as the first frosts and flurries of the pending winter. The colorful leaves of early autumn are replaced by naked trees stripped by the gales of November that can rock our world. But change is what keeps our natural world exciting.
November, a Time for Change
By Chuck Slusarczyk Jr.
If March "comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb", well, I guess you could say November is the converse...or at least close to it. November can truly be a month of extremes with lingering warm days as well as the first frosts and flurries of the pending winter. The colorful leaves of early autumn are replaced by naked trees stripped by the gales of November that can rock our world. But change is what keeps our natural world exciting.
By now, the heavy songbird migration of the past couple months is over and our little autumn visitors are well on their way to their warmer winter homes, but birds are still here with others still to come. While many of our winter birds have already arrived, even more will be coming to join them. Birds such as Dark-eyed Juncos and American Tree Sparrows will spend the season with us as will American Goldfinch, Northern Mockingbirds and more, but the truly exciting action will be found on the Cuyahoga River and the Cleveland lakefront with the arrival of many species of waterfowl and gulls in great numbers. High-flying flocks of Tundra Swans can often be seen over Tremont where you can hear their melodic honking calls quite unlike those of Canada Geese.
Locations such as Scranton Flats or Wendy Park are the places to go to see the incredible numbers of Ring-billed and Herring Gulls that arrive to overwinter on Lake Erie, and this month we will also start seeing flocks of the diminutive Bonaparte's Gull as they pass through on their way even further south. Among avid birders, gulls are one of the most anticipated types of birds to look for starting in November. Gulls are so much more than just french-fry nabbers and many come down from as far as the Arctic Circle and above to spend their winters with us in our comparatively balmy climate. During the summer Cleveland has only two species of gulls but, through late autumn and into the winter we can see up to 13 different species or more but you've got to be looking...some can be one day wonders! Along with the gulls, we begin to see a good variety of ducks and other waterfowl and both topics will be discussed in more detail in future posts.
For now, let's enjoy the change of season and keep your eyes and ears open. Look for the animals and plants that are sharing this change with us and see how they prepare and cope. Winter is not for everybody, but like our wild neighbors we must prepare for and cope with it, and if you're like me...get out and enjoy it!
Make A Donation to Western Cuyahoga Audubon. Your gifts guarantee chapter activities, programs and research continues to reach members and connect birding conservationists around the world. Use our safe and secure PayPal payment button below to make a donation of any amount you choose. All donations are gratefully received.
The Feathered Flyer blog publishes human interest stories about birding and habitat conservation.
After watching, ‘My Painted Trillium Quest' by Tom Fishburn, Kim Langley, WCAS Member said, “Wonderful! It was a lift just knowing that such a site exists and is being protected!”
Support Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society when you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates.
WCAS is a proud member of The Council of Ohio Audubon Chapters (COAC) and promotes chapter development by sharing the best practices, brainstorming solutions to common problems, and building relationships in workshops and retreats. Subscribe
Bird Walk Reports
Christmas Bird Count-Lakewood Circle
Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society
4310 Bush Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44109
Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your donation is tax-deductible. The tax ID number is: 34-1522665. If you prefer to mail your donation, please send your check to: Nancy Howell, Western Cuyahoga Audubon Treasurer, 19340 Fowles Rd, Middleburg Hts, OH 44130. © 2020 Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society. All rights reserved.