Posted on March 11th, 2010 1 comment - Add a comment >>
In the biological world this word is defined as the “restlessness” that animals feel prior to, or during migratory times. Many scientists have explored this biological phenomenon in birds specifically. By experimentally altering(increasing) the length of daylight upon a bird, scientist see a noticeable change in behavior. Birds begin eating much more, fattening up, and exhibit more movement(or restlessness) than normal.
I bring this word to our attention because bird activity is on the rise now in the Adirondacks and will be over the next 3 months.
Migrating birds are arriving as we speak! On a recent drive through St Lawrence County farm country I saw thousands of Canada Geese in flight, Red-winged Blackbirds & Common Grackles cavorting in the treetops , Killdeer calling from fields, and general merriment in the avian world.
Our first arrivals are usually those birds that don’t travel all that far, on a continent-wide scale that is. Many of the birds we see arriving now have traveled from the Mid-Atlantic region of the US. But soon enough others will join in. It should also be noted that many birds are just “passing through” our area while on their longer flights into Canada. Bon Voyage!
There is a feeling of zugunruhe currently being felt in the humid, tropical regions of Central and South America…by the birds of course! Once a good stiff south breeze picks up in the jungles, the birds destined for the Adirondacks take advantage of it and take to the airways, thus beginning their northward journey’s. Stay tuned for more migratory updates as the season progresses.
On another front…we hear that the latestNY winter Bald Eagle count has revealed some pretty cool numbers. And to think that not too long ago this bird was once facing near extinction in the east. Hurray for all the biologists who care!
In the very near future I’ll be posting a wonderful weather map that will show you big-blobsof-migrating-birds flying over the US under star-filled skies.
What birds are YOU seeing? What signs of animal “zugunruhe” are you seeing? As a birdwatcher I think I’m getting that zugunruhe feeling….
Photo credit: Canada Goose-Wikipedia