We Birdfreaks tend to slow down in July when it comes to birding. Between cookouts and family reunions, music in the park and swimming, the summer can slip by in a flash.
Today was the perfect time to head out to Rock Cut State Park in Rockford, Illinois. Jennie and Dakota are here visiting from Findlay, Ohio (Dakota has spent most of his summer in Illinois).
We arrived around nine in the morning. The sun was hot and the humidity high. We hiked along one of the equestrian trails and headed into the woods. We found a White-eyed Vireo, several vocal Eastern Wood-Pewees, many active woodpeckers, Indigo Buntings and a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
Can it be too hot to go birding? When it is so hot and humid, extra precautions should be taken. On hot days, you should bring extra water (more than you think you’ll need), apply sunscreen and bug spray, and dress in light-weight clothing. Be prepared to walk at a slower pace and take breaks if you need to. As long as you come prepared, hot-weather birding can be done.
Are birds even out in hot weather? This time of year many species are less vocal and somewhat more difficult to find. Birding is more pleasant earlier in the day or late in the evening, but birds really can be found all day.
Sometimes, it is good just to get out there and endure. There might not be much to be seen, but once you are sweaty head to toe, you can’t get more sweaty so enjoy! Get dirty! Be one of the brave souls out in the elements. (And then go home and take a shower!)