As I sit staring out my window, with a fresh cup of coffee in hand, I begin to watch for any bird that makes their way to my feeder. I enjoy the moments in the morning, just when the sun begins to rise and the quiet of the night breaks with a symphony of flutter and chatter. As each bird makes it way to my feeder, I instantly get amnesia for the ones I saw prior and each new one I see is more intriguing and beautiful than the last.
Over winter, and depending upon your location, you can enjoy the winter migratory visits of such birds as; Boreal Chickadee (Poecile hudsonica), European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Common Redpoll (Carduelis flammea), and Black-Backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus). Yet the amount of birds I expected to have seen, are less than anticipated.
I am an avid bird watcher, enthusiastic with each flutter and join the ranks of many who call themselves a bird-nerd. As I anticipate the pass and arrival of each species, I yearn to learn more about them. Often I wish they could join me for a cup of coffee and discuss their travels to and fro.
Migration in of itself is a complex and fascinating event that can be traveled via land, sea or air; all in the pursuit of survival. The distance each species travels, with such a navigational accuracy, amazes me greatly.
One of the most severe threats to migratory species is climate change and the unknown events that lie before us. Greenhouse gases are raising the Earth's temperature and altering the climate we and all species, have evolved to rely upon.
The rise in temperatures and the increase in unpredictable weather will begin to damage the seasonal habitats used by migrants and disrupt long-established migratory patterns. Some migrants can and do respond to changes in the climatic system by arriving earlier onto their breeding grounds or by leaving later. In many cases, species need adequate time to evolve to sudden changes or they will be left stranded or arrive at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Therefore, as you watch out your windowsill and wait the arrival or return of each species. Take note to any changes that you see in your neck of the woods and let us know what you see. Have species arrived later in the season? Perhaps some haven't returned at all? So I ask you...what the flock?