Monday, September 24, 2012

Long Journeys Begin with the First Whup.


I am always amazed at the combination of strength and beauty in birds. Some, like pigeons used bits of iron in their heads and shoulders to determine direction from the magnetic poles of the earth. Others must line the stars and moon and the sun in some magical mapping strategy, because they return to almost the same resting places when going on their thousands of miles migratory journey twice a year. Hundreds of millions of birds make the 600-mile non-stop trip across the Gulf, or take the longer route around it twice each year.  The longest trips are more than 24,000 miles round trip each year!  Almost half the birds in the United States are migratory species.  Birds fly an average of 15-45 miles per hour, making me now feel guilty that I do not get off the couch more.

These feathered athletes need places to stopover for rest and refreshment, and it is amazing at how these places are within yards of the place they stopped the year before.  Therefore specific habitat such as forests of maritime live oak and pine that rim the Gulf are crucial for their survival, as are undisturbed water ponds and marshes.  And some birds like Osprey split up for the winter months down south taking separate vacations and then reunite successfully months later.


I was thinking of this when I saw several species of birds  on Aruba.  They have over 200 species and  I saw only a few.  My photos are not great as I was with family and did not want to hold people up while I diddled and dabbled.  Many were shot from the open window of the car!  But you may enjoy the Olympian fliers of Aruba.












15 comments:

Joanne Noragon said...

What a lot of birds you spotted. And I even recognized a few. Very nice.

Brian Miller said...

these are pretty cool...what is the one up on the cactus? the bright orange one is really cool as well...

Daniel LaFrance said...

Amazing post and topic! You and I are on the same page this week. lol

I'm glad you and others are thinking about migration and how involved it is.

Kat said...

This reminds me that I still need to post the pictures of all the birds I had in my back yard this summer. I was amazed.
Great pictures! :)

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Gosh, you saw a huge variety of birds! Hope the one on the cactus didn't poke his little feet. :/ Beautiful set!

Red said...

I always think that I see all the birds under one condition and everybody else sees them in another situation.

Barb said...

You wonder how the heck they can perch on all those thorns!

Linda Reeder said...

Lots of pretty birds on prickly perches!
I love your description of their locator abilities.

Granny Annie said...

When will you publish your coffee table book of birds?

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Thank you
for another learning experience.
You traveled
far over the water.

Tabor said...

The bird that Brian asked about is the bare-eyed pigeon.

lime said...

oh that yellow one is just so eye catching!

Lynn said...

All I can add is the hummers talk to me as they feed ~ I’m content.

Bob Bushell said...

Brilliant post and the photos.

Dave King said...

A truly great post which only goes to underline the need to protect the various environments so necessary as stop-over places for them. Many thanks for posting this.