Summer’s finale is beautiful

CheepShot via WikiMedia Commons/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license The goldfinches are just now coming off from their late summer nesting and may even be introduced to your sunflower and nyjer feeders by their parents. It’s more fun to see them patronizing your garden-produced seeds.

Can you believe that summer is winding down? In a few weeks we will be firmly entrenched in a wonderful season of autumn, but there is still so much summer beauty to experience and enjoy!

Fall doesn’t start until Sept. 22, but meteorologists call Sept. 1 the meteorological beginning of fall. Still, these first 3 weeks of September will provide us with much stunning beauty to round out summer in style.

It’s a great time of year when one can spot some interesting birds that may be making their way south for the winter months. Several become more conspicuous as they transition from rearing their young to simply providing for their daily nutrition and survival. The food supply has exploded as weed seeds have matured and continue to ripen and trees produce a bountiful crop of acorns, nuts, and seeds. Sunflowers and perennials in the garden are also supplying many of our favorite birds with a welcome supply of tasty fresh seeds.

Bird activity at the feeders has been a bit slower as the birds have many more food choices. The goldfinches are just now coming off from their late summer nesting and may even be introduced to your sunflower and nyjer feeders by their parents. It’s more fun to see them patronizing your garden-produced seeds. The young are pretty easy to tell from the adults as they are weaned from parents’ assistance.

Woodpecker activity has slowed at our feeders which is likely due to a great food supply in the woods in the form of nuts, insect larvae and eggs on tree trunks, and several other natural goodies. They still love working some peanuts into their daily fare.

The wild flowers of the pastures, hedgerows, and fields are absolutely beautiful. The several species of goldenrod are just now starting to peak. Take a closer look at them and you will see how different and beautiful they are. The wild asters are about to bloom – both purple ones with larger flowers and the white ones with big clusters of small flowers. Then mix in several other later summer flowers such as hawkweed, Queen Anne’s lace, knapweed, and others.

Later September starts bringing us some early color changes in some trees, shrubs, and various vines which all look nice contrasting with deep green foliage whose transition to color is somewhat later.

Beginning in August, several bird species have been migrating. Certain species migrate at different times, and migration times within a species also vary. Just like in spring, not all bluebirds, robins, and hummingbirds arrive at the same time.

As for hummingbirds, many have left but several are still around and some will even linger deep into September. It is fun to keep track of the last day that you still see a hummingbird in your yard.

Enjoy the next two or three weeks of beauty before autumn sets in. I can’t begin to describe the beauty that is out there right now, which is easy to ignore given our busy lives. Yes, birds are out there too, and most any bird can show up when you least expect it, however I really want you to focus on the beautiful vegetation and skies. God gives us so much beauty that we often take for granted.

Get out and enjoy nature’s bounty with a friend or by yourself – and don’t forget to thank God for it while you’re out there.

Hans Kunze is an avid birder and nature enthusiast who has been writing about birds and nature for more than 30 years. He writes for the The Daily News twice each month. Write him at 6340 LaGrange Rd Wyoming, NY 14591 or call (585) 813-2676.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1