Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Snowbirds

Well, did the red-winged blackbirds appear in the water meadow along Queset Brook on February 27? I wonder.

Here in the central Bahamas we don't have those delicious signs of spring. In New England, 2.2 times as much solar energy falls upon the ground in summer as in winter. Here on the Tropic of Cancer the figure is 1.25, not enough to make a big difference to growing things. And, of course, these islands are surrounded by an ocean that moderates change.

Most of our birds are here all year round: hummingbirds, bananaquits, mockingbirds, anis (the crossword puzzle bird). But we get a few visitors from up north, most famously the rare and elusive (I've not seen one) Kirtland's warbler from the piney woods of central Michigan, which apparently likes the Bahamas in winter as much as we do.

Thanks to some help from human friends, the Kirtland's warbler is making it's way back from near extinction.