“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter...” –Sense of Wonder by Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson was right. And one of the most important and spectacular of those “repeated refrains” in the Americas is taking place right now - bird migration.
Each year for more than 20 years now, International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) has celebrated birds. Spring is in full swing now, and many of us are enjoying the sounds and colors of birds as they migrate to and through our cities and over our landscapes.
Some migratory birds travel great distances. The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds that visit my yard in Maryland each summer travel 500 non-stop miles across the Gulf of Mexico from their wintering grounds to find nesting areas as far north as Maine and Canada. The Arctic Tern travels even farther, making an annual round-trip of almost 20,000 miles from the Arctic breeding grounds to Antarctic seas.