Red-winged blackbird by Jessica Ingram

Spring Birds: When Does Spring Migration Begin?

Bird watchers anticipate spring migration like kids anticipate Christmas. Looking forward to first-of-year species helps us make it through the bleak days of late winter. But when does spring migration actually start? For the past 35 years, I've lived and watched birds in the lower Midwest—southern Ohio and southern Indiana. If you live in New England, the Great Plains, the Rockies, the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest, or the South, your spring birding experience will probably be quite different in terms of the species and/or timing of their return.
Learn More »

More In This Section

Who doesn't love a falcon? These powerful predators wow us with their agile flight and lightening speeds, the fighter jets of the bird world. Around 60 species exist worldwide, but only seven regularly occur in North America. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

How Much Do You Know About Falcons? Take Our Quiz! »

It’s Time for Some Turkey Trivia! »

Flame-colored Tanager by Jerry Oldennettel / Wikimedia Creative Commons

Try Our Tanagers Quiz! »

Common ravens are great learners. Consequently, they’ve been studied by ornithologists and behaviorists for a long time. Common raven photo by Danrok, Wikimedia Commons.

Are Birds Smart? »

How Much Do You Know about Purple Martins? Take Our Quiz! »

Small red finches cause ID headaches for many bird watchers. This is a male Cassin's finch.

How to Identify Small Red Finches »

The blue jay is a common and familiar species, yet one whose social life and habits remain little known. Author Diane Porter sheds light on its mysteries. Photo by MDF/Wikimedia Creative Commons.

Take Our Corvids Quiz! »

Eastern bluebird in North Carolina. Photo by W. Majoros, Wikimedia Commons

How Much Do You Know About Bluebirds? Take Our Quiz! »

American goldfinches flock at backyard thistle feeders. Photo by Randall Sholten.

Answers to Common Backyard Questions »

Black-capped Chickadee. Photo by Alain Wolf / Wikimedia Commons.

How to Identify Chickadees »

American Robin by Dori / Wikimedia

Why Birds Beat Groundhogs at Weather Forecasting »

Bird Questions: Back to Basics »

Love Among the Birds: Take Our Quiz! »

Yellow-billed cuckoo. Photo by Dominic Sherony / Wikimedia.

Cuckoo About Cuckoos? Take Our Quiz! »

Tundra swans. Photo by Todd Smith.

20 Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About Birds »

All birds, including this lesser goldfinch, need water. (Photo: Creative Commons)

How Do Birds Drink Water? »

Barred owl by Robert Strickland.

Common Bird Myths »


Do Birds Mate for Life? »


Territory and Mate Selection »

Squirrels are a common pest at bird feeders. In our tips below, we suggest ways to deal with the furry menace. Photo by Sandra Myers.

Common Bird Feeding Questions »

Black-capped Chickadee. Photo by Alain Wolf / Wikimedia Commons.

How Much Do You Know About Chickadees? Take Our Quiz! »

Baffling Bird Behavior — Your Questions Answered »


More Bird-watching Myths Explained »

Subscribe & Save!

ONE YEAR (6 ISSUES) of Bird Watcher's Digest magazine
GET FREE AND INSTANT ACCESS to our digital edition
SAVE 33% off newsstand prices
PAY ONE LOW PRICE of $19.99!
Scroll Up