Bird Migration

Bird migration is a huge topic. Super-Big. Vast. Overwhelming.

So, starting today, it is Bird Migration Week (running from Thursday to Thursday) on this blog. I’ll be posting a number of quick reviews of bird-migration related books and a few other items, but for starters, I’ll send you over to 10,000 Birds for a post on bird migration.

To a birder, migration means that you can live in Minnesota, New York, Paris or Moscow and see exotic tropical birds such as Piranga olivacea and Icterus galbula on a regular basis without buying a plane ticket. The birds do the flying for you. Even if you don’t live in the summer range of a particular species, you may have opportunities to observe it while it passes through, especailly if you live in an active flyway, like I happen to. All of this leads to a longer life list, which is, after all, the entire point of bridwatching, right?

Read all about it in A Question of Migration.

Comments

  1. #1 Kevin Emerson
    May 19, 2011

    I was thinking about getting back into blogging using bird migration as the topic to start with. you beat me there. I look forward to reading your posts! I have only been ‘interested’ in birds for about a year now, but they are truly fascinating – especially in terms of migrations. Two of the topics that most intrigue me are the control of the timing of migration (I work on seasonality in insects currently) and the evolution of migratory behavior.

    The amazing thing about studying seasonal timing in birds is the true participation of citizen scientists!

    Again, can’t wait to see the set of posts you have and maybe this is the inspiration I needed to get back into blogging!

  2. #2 gwen
    May 20, 2011

    I’m more interested in the ones who decide to stick around. In 30 years, the bay area has built up a large population of non-migratory birds, mostly geese. Why did they stop migrating? Do some of the goslings decide to follow the rest of the flock and migrate, or do they all become a charter member of the permanent flocks? Is this happening anywhere else?

  3. #3 Pete Moulton
    May 20, 2011

    Gwen, yes, a flock of Canada Geese has become resident at my home patch SE of Phoenix.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    May 20, 2011

    It is happening in a lot of places. The bottom line is probably food availability.

    In the bay area, there may well have been geese resident all year all along, just in very small numbers. You could be seeing an increase in numbers. Most cap cod residents will claim that the geese started to stay behind ther in the 60s or 70s but I’m pretty sure they were there since before WW2, just in small numbers.

  5. #5 seo
    May 20, 2011

    I’m more interested in the ones who decide to stick around. In 30 years, the bay area has built up a large population of non-migratory birds, mostly geese. Why did they stop migrating? Do some of the goslings decide to follow the rest of the flock and migrate, or do they all become a charter member of the permanent flocks? Is this happening anywhere else..