Winging South for the Winter

As the days grow shorter and the nights grow colder; as long, languid summer melts into crisp, cool autumn; as nature takes on russet hues and puts on fancy dress; as you marvel at the beauty of the season, don’t forget to look up. One of nature’s great marvels is the show in the sky as the birds of North America migrate south. Migration is the annual movement of birds, often north and south along a flyway, between their breeding grounds and their wintering grounds. One of the best known, and certainly the most familiar, of North America’s migrators is the Canada (not “Canadian”) Goose (Branta canadensis).  The impressive V-formations of Canada geese flying south are seen all over North America; indeed, Canada geese are found in every one of the contiguous United States and every Canadian province. However, they are not our only journeying birds. “Of the more than 650 species of North American breeding birds, more than half are migratory.” Cornell Lab of Ornithology