Thursday, May 13, 2010

I and the Bird #125: North with the Spring

Posted by Kirk

Welcome to the 125th edition of I and the Bird. I and the Bird is a bi-monthly roundup of bird writing and photography on the web. Each edition is hosted by a different website. I hosted edition #111 last autumn and called it "South with the Fall" Now that it is spring in the Northern Hemisphere, I can complete the journey by presenting North with the Spring. Admittedly, south of the equator the world is sliding toward autumn but humor me as we follow birds around the world.

In 1951, naturalist Edwin Way Teale wrote the book North With the Spring as he drove 17,000 miles north through North America following spring as it brought warmth back to the land. Teale wrote of the spring, "The seasons, like greater tides, ebb and flow across the continents. Spring advances up the United States at the average of about fifteen miles a day. It ascends mountainsides at a rate of about a hundred feet a day. It sweeps ahead like a flood of water, racing down the long valleys, creeping up hillsides in a rising tide. Most of us, like the man who lives on the bank of a river and watches the stream flow by, see only one phase of the movement of spring. Each year the season advances toward us out of the south, sweeps around us, goes flooding away into the north. We see all phases of a singe phase, all variations of the one chapter in the Odyssey of Spring."

In homage to his great journey, let us too travel North With the Spring.

• Gippsland, Australia: 37° South •
We start things off far in the south with the only entry this month from a person where it is Autumn and not Spring. Duncan of Ben Cruachan Blog gives us a peek into the beginning of Australian autumn.

• Near Chemor in Perak, Malaysia: 4° North •
Now we're north of the equator, but just barely. As an appropriately spring topic, Yeow Chin Wee of the Bird Ecology Study Group tells us all about the nesting of the chestnut headed bee eater.

• Panama City, Panama: 9° North •
Once again, Jan Axel makes me realize I absolutely MUST visit Panama.. We travel only 5° more north but we're on the other side of the world.

• Ranthambore Sanctuary, Rajasthan, India: 26° North •
Swinging around the globe again we find ourselves in India with Ambika Chandrasekar of Madras Ramblings. Does this peacock realize he's displaying in front of the ladies toilet?

•Big Springs, Texas: 29.8° North •
Inching northward with the spring, Tony Gallucci of the Milk River Blog gives us a nice roundup of what's being seen at Big Springs this spring.

• Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory, Texas, US: 30° North •
Just two tenths of a degree to the north of Tony, James Brush tells us that down around 30° North it is already seeming like summer with temperatures in the 90s Fahrenheit. Since it is 50° F with cold rain as I write this up in Minnesota that sounds pretty sweet. So does the lifer Painted Bunting that made his day.

• Carlsbad, California: 33° North •
Like a migrating bird we can't seem to sit still so we're off to California again but this time a little further north at Carlsbad where Wren of Wrenaissance Reflections found a cooperative and photogenic Heermans Gull.

• Fort Yargo State Park, Georgia, US:33° North •
At the same latitude but on the other side of the North American continent, Joan Knapp had an encounter with a Brown-headed Nuthatch at Fort Yargo State Park.

• Lake Köyceğiz in SW Turkey: 36° North •
Crossing the Atlantic Ocean, we find that Sarah Koschak and Andrew Skeoch of the Listening Earth Blog have been on the road for the last 2 months in Turkey. They captured a soundscape from the forest that includes the song of a Chaffinch.

• Opossum Creek Resort, West Virginia: US: 38° North •
Two degrees further north in West Virginia, Vickie Henderson attends her first birding festival and absolutely loves it.

• Broomfield, CO, US: 39° North •
One more degree north but further west, David Alcock starts his day out right with a fallout of migrating warblers in Colorado.

• Indianapolis, Indiana: 39° North •
Same latitude, different location, Rue Mapp of Outdoor Afro has a wonderful interview with Douglas "Birdman" Grey.

• Near Red Bluff, California, US: 40° North •
There seemed to be a lot of action at 40° North this month. Maybe something about this latitude just inspires writers. In California, Larry Johnson of The Birder's Report kicks things off at 40° by bringing a healthy dose of much needed sex (with photos) to I and the Bird. He has an excellent post on extra pair coupling in cliff swallows.

• New York City, US: 40° North •
Winging all the way across the continent we find Melissa Cooper pondering bird neck appreciation day from her home in New York City.

• Blue Lake, California: 40° North •
Time for another cross-country journey. Also at the same latitude, Jill Wussow of the blog Count Your Chicken! We're taking Over! ventured to Blue Lake in California and tracked down spotted Owls.

• Farmington, Connecticut, US: 41° North •
Creeping North with the spring we find Diane Tucker, Estate Naturalist for the Hill-Stead Museum who writes the Hill-stead Blog. She tells us that hope is a thing with feathers as she writes about the American Kestrel.

• Magee Marsh, Ohio, US: 41° North •
A little to the west, Mike Bergin of 10,000 Birds is hanging out at the same latitude and enjoying the spring migrants at The Biggest Week in American Birding. I've been wondering where all the warblers are this spring and clearly they are all over in Ohio.

• Near Menomonie, Wisconsin: 44° North •
Minnesota Birdnerd, Roger Everhart makes his long overdue debut on I and the Bird by defecting to Wisconsin to band both spring migrants and local birds.

• Minneapolis, Minnesota, US: 45° North •
Just a tick to the northwest, Greg Laden writes about the popular American Kestrel that has taken to hunting moths in the bright lights of the new Twins baseball stadium much to the delight of fans.

• Bozeman, Montana, US: 45° North •
Continuing our westward track we find Radd Icenoggle experienced a great fallout day of birding while showing another birder around his stomping grounds.

• Point Roberts, Washington, US, 49° North •
At exactly 49° North, Susannah a.k.a. Wandering Weeta also crosses a border for birds. She crosses from Canada to the US to bird at Point Roberts. It is a piece of land included in the US mostly due to poor map making. Luckily, the birds don't use maps and she spots a Black Oystercatcher.

• Frankfurt, Germany: 50° North •

Back across the ocean again, GrrlScientist asks, "How will You Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day?" and she provides plenty of great suggestions.

Thanks so much for stopping by. If you enjoyed this installment of I and the Bird please consider becoming a follower of the Twin Cities Naturalist through one of the free subscription services. You can click the follow me tab on the left hand side of the page to subscribe to the Twitter feed or you can choose to follow though either Google Reader or Networked Blogs both of which have widgets on the left as well. If you prefer email, you can subscribe to get posts in your mailbox by entering your email address in the field at the top of the page.

Submissions for the 126th edition of I and the Bird need to be to Coyote Mercury by May 25th.


(Edwin Way Teale photo credit: Alfred Eisenstaedt/LIFE)


flowergirl said...

My latitudes have improved a lot! great idea!

Matthew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew said...

Great roundup of the winged world.
Backyard and Beyond

Kirk said...

Thanks folks. Enjoy reading all the great posts. Wouldn't be be possible without everyone seeing, photographing and writing about such great stuff.

Duncan said...

Another good theme Kirk, well done!