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.