Winter 2023 has been a mild one giving us plenty of opportunity to get outside! We haven't been the only ones enjoying this mild winter, our feathered friends have been migrating back to the Valley much earlier than normal.

"We had turkey vultures two weeks ago, which is very early for vultures. We had about 15 blue birds too so they're coming back. It seems like everything is pushing up early," says Heather Merritt, Owner of Birds in Flight Sanctuary.

With Spring right around the corner, there will be multiple species of birds making their way back to the Valley in March.

"Most of the eagles are already in, the turkey vultures come back in droves in March but it may be a little early this year. Bluebirds, all your field sparrows, everything starts coming back in March this year it seems a little bit early," adds Merritt.

A lot of the birds that will be migrating back to the Valley in the coming weeks will be making long trips back to this area. Heather advises to not only bird watch on public property but to give the birds you're watching plenty of space.

As far as the best spots in the Valley to bird watch...?

"It depends on what bird species you want to see. You need to know what their habitat is, and that's where you need to go without trespassing on someone's property and without getting very close. Mosquito Lake is always top for me. Lake LaDue is really good, in Spring they have pelicans, and in the fall. I heard they have had swans this year, of course, Mill Creek Park," adds Merritt.

Merritt says birdwatching is as cheap or expensive as you want it to be adding a good pair of binoculars or a nice camera can go a long way but that's not needed.

If you want to learn more about Birds in Flight Sanctuary, you can visit this LINK