Hundreds of different bird species to be seen in Tippecanoe County as birds head south for winter

Hundreds of thousands of birds are expected to migrate down south around sunset as colder weather approaches.

Posted: Sep 28, 2020 7:30 PM
Updated: Sep 28, 2020 9:17 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) -- A natural-phenomena that only takes place twice a year could happen in Tippecanoe County on Monday night. Hundreds of thousands of birds are expected to migrate down south around sunset as colder weather kicks in this year.

While birds' bodies naturally tell them when it's time to migrate, the weather is a key factor for actually traveling.

"The day they choose to migrate is dependent on the weather conditions, you don't want to fly south into southerly winds that are going to make you work extra hard," said Barny Dunning, Purdue University professor of wildlife and ecology in Forestry and Natural Resources. 

The current winds coming through Tippecanoe County are perfect to help push the birds along on their journey. What this means for people in the area is a chance to see a number of bird species that don't often travel here.

"This year we're seeing lots of Purple-Finches, and related species like Pine-Siskins, Crossbills, and Red-Breasted Nuthatches, there's this whole set of birds," said Dunning.

Professor Dunning likes to observe birds at the Celery Bog Nature Preserve in West Lafayette. He said these particular birds tend to travel here when food supply is short up north.

While the birds are here, he's encouraging people to enjoy this phenomenon for a number of reasons.

"There's something new and different to see every time you go out and that's fun and exciting then the other thing is that they're a sign of how healthy our environment is. The natural systems are relatively healthy and they're supporting to birds that we love," said Dunning.

The birds are expected to head out around sunset on Monday. You may be able to catch them flying Tuesday morning as well.

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