The Incredible Journey
Human snowbirds head to Florida to dodge winter’s teeth chattering cold. Many bird species also migrate to warmer areas. But migration is not about temperature birds have down jackets; it’s about canada goose store finding food.
Ducks leave frozen marshes and ponds. Insect canada goose outlet online eating songbirds leave the snow for warmer areas. Songbird and insect loving predators, Canada Goose Online like American Kestrels and Sharp shinned Hawks, follow the songbirds. Birds in the northern hemisphere move south, and their compadres in the southern hemisphere head north.
For the first time, scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have documented migratory movements of 118 species throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Every year, youngsters make these amazing journeys for the very first canada goose outlet uk sale time, without a canada goose outlet new york city map or GPS. Scientists have many theories about how they do it, but, really, it’s still canada goose outlet store a great mystery.
This winter, many of these migrants, including a Horned Grebe and a Sharp shinned Hawk, made an unexpected stop at a little B called St. Francis Wildlife.
This migrating Horned Grebe recovered from a error at St. Francis Wildlife. Photo by Teresa Stevenson.
The Horned Grebe is a small, duck like bird that breeds mostly in Canada and Alaska. Many head canada goose outlet store uk to the Gulf Coast in the fall.
Horned Grebes appear to do what other northern vacationers goose outlet canada do while at beach resorts. They dine on fish and Canada Goose online crustaceans. Guys show off (mating displays), and eventually hook up with one female (pair bond). Then, come spring, if the honeymoon is successful, together they fly back to their northern breeding grounds, find a little inland marsh or pond and build a cozy nest.
In addition to the usual problems that other migrating birds face, grebes (and loons, too) have a special challenge. They are superb swimmers and divers, but with lobed toes on feet positioned far back on their bodies, it’s near impossible for them to walk official canada goose outlet on land. To take flight, the canada goose outlet black friday grebe must run across the surface of water.
Grebes often migrate at night. When it gets close to dawn, they look for a body of water. From high above, a dark, wet road probably looks a lot like a river.
“During the day, sunlight sparkling on the paved road can also look like water, but when they land, they’re stuck,” said Teresa Stevenson, St. Francis Wildlife’s director.
January 3, St. Francis Wildlife rescued a very thin Horned Grebe sitting on rain slicked buy canada goose jacket cheap Crawfordville Highway, with scraped, canada goose outlet sale bloody feet.
The Grebe spent canada goose outlet jackets four days at their wildlife hospital, sucking down shrimp and crickets, while his feet healed.
January 7, Teresa drove the little traveler to Panacea. “I walked to the water’s edge, set him buy canada goose jacket free, and held my breath. Any time you release an animal, you wonder is this the right place to release it? Is it going to be OK?
“It swam through the little canal canada goose outlet in usa and started to dive right away it preened and dove, preened and dove. A few minutes later, two other Horned Grebes joined it. And I breathed.”
After restorative R R at St. Francis Wildlife, this migratory Horned Grebe rejoined his friends at Panacea. Photo by Teresa Stevenson.
Hawk makes first cross country trip
A Sharp shinned Hawk felt safe on her concealed canopy perch in a dense New England forest. Since she fledged (left the nest and began to fly) two months earlier, she had been practicing her hunting skills.
Short wings and a long tail deftly maneuvered her tiny, Blue Jay sized https://www.foekjedillema.nl body through deep woods, zipping through a tangle of trunks and branches. Long legs and toes plunged into thick vegetation where her curved, needle sharp talons learned canada goose outlet to snag songbirds and mice.
Something drove her to hunt and eat, hunt and eat storing up an extra layer of fat. For early one September morning, after the first cold front passed, an ancient memory lifted the Sharpshin from her safe forest to begin her first migration to Florida.
She set off on this arduous journey of 1,000 miles with a full tank, but she still needed clean water, good food, and safe canada goose clearance sale places to rest all along the way. Every day, every mile is an unknown challenge.
Migratory hawks, especially youngsters without street smarts, are often hit by cars. December 1, a female Sharp shinned Hawk collided with a car near Tallahassee.
The man who found the bird drove her to Northwood Animal Hospital (one of three Tallahassee veterinary hospitals that accepts wildlife for St. Francis Wildlife).
Her left wing was fractured, and she had several other wounds. But, if set properly and soon, birds’ hollow bones can heal quickly.
December 23, St. Francis Wildlife staff removed her bandages and moved her to a large outdoor flight cage for reconditioning.
January 10, after she passed her “flight test,” they returned her to the “scene of the crime,” and set her free. She bolted Canada Goose Parka for the trees and instantly disappeared. Bon voyage, little girl.
Young Sharp shinned Hawk with a fractured wing, on the mend at St. Francis Wildlife. Photo by Teresa Stevenson.
Yes, migration is risky business. Physical stress, unreliable food supplies, bad weather, and natural predators are certainties. When you add our pets, cars, buildings, roads, and constantly changing landscapes to the mix, it’s incredible that so many birds continue to make this round trip, year after year after year.
Survival depends on luck, instincts, and sometimes like the Sharp shinned Hawk and Horned Grebe a little help canada goose coats from your friends.