Category Archives: Migration

Bird Puzzler #3: Hide and Seek

I was surprised when I learned this fact about this bird-species that breeds in BC and that is seen fairly regularly in the lower mainland.  This puzzler has no pictures, videos or sound recordings – just the following piece of information:

This is the only North American migratory species that, at the turn of the twenty-first century, had not yet revealed the location of its wintering grounds.

These wintering grounds were only finally discovered in 2010 and how it was done is very cool!

Identify that bird!


(See Puzzlers Page for Instructions)

Clue #1: Gurl bsgra unat bhg arne jngresnyyf.

Clue #2: Qb abg zvfgnxr gurz sbe ynetr, qnex-pbybherq fjnyybjf.


Clue and Answer Decoder


Gur zlfgrel oveq vf gur Oynpx Fjvsg.  N tebhc bs Pbybenqb erfrnepuref gnttrq 4 oveqf jvgu trbybpngbef va 2009 naq, jura 3 bs gurz jrer erpncgherq va gur fhzzre bs 2010, gur frperg bs gurve jvagrevat tebhaqf va gur Nznmba Onfva va gur jrfg bs Oenmvy jnf erirnyrq.

Zl bevtvany fbhepr jnf gur Rneoveqvat.pbz oybt  negvpyr ol Anguna Cvrcybj: Oynpx Fjvsg Jvagrevat Tebhaqf Qvfpbirerq (uggc://rneoveqvat.pbz/oybt/nepuvirf/3602).


Bird Migration Movie: Crossing the Gulf of Mexico

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird by Matt Tillett (Flickr: Ruby-throated Hummingbird) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 I found this hour long online movie about bird migration across the Gulf of Mexico a couple of days ago.  It does a good job of  documenting the amazing migration that many North American birds go through each Spring and Fall.  Birds as small as the Ruby-throated Hummingbird fly non-stop from the Yucatan to the Gulf coast of the US on their way to their breeding grounds further North, a trip that can take most of a day and cover 600 or more miles.  The fall sees a similar migration in the opposite direction back to the wintering grounds in Central and South America.


Among my favourite birds to watch in flight are the swifts. They are powerful fliers that most people will only ever see on the wing since they cannot perch like the swallows that they superficially resemble (they are more closely related to hummingbirds).  A friend of mine recently brought a story a from Discover Magazine (This Bird Can Fly for Six Months Without Landing Once) to my attention. Equipping the some Alpine Swifts with motion sensing equipment, a group of Swiss researchers were able to show that the birds, which breed in the mountains from southern Europe to the Himalayas, can stay aloft for months at a time during their overwinter migration in southern Africa.