Four Billion Birds Flying

Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) (Junco hyemalis hyemalis) female WikiC

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV)

Here are some interesting statements from an article on All About Birds. The research that Cornell Lab of Ornithology scientists are discovering with weather radar data is assisting the ornithologist. They are learning more about the 4 Billion birds that migrate during this time of the year.

“An average of 4 billion birds passed from Canada across the northern border of the U.S. in autumn, with 2.6 billion birds returning across the Canada–U.S. border in spring. Activity across the southern border was on an even grander scale: an average of 4.7 billion birds left the U.S. for Mexico and other points south each autumn, with 3.5 billion birds heading north across the U.S. southern border each spring.”

Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra) male by Kent Nickell

Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra) male by Kent Nickell

That is quite a few birds heading south, with fewer returning in the spring. It appears the birds that go further south have a better survival rate than the ones that winter here in the United States. 

” For birds crossing the U.S. northern border—which includes many short-distance migrants such as sparrows, Snow Buntings, and Dark-eyed Juncos that fly from Canada to spend winter in the Lower 48 states—the average rate of return was 64 percent. But for birds crossing the U.S. southern border—which includes more of the long-distance migrants such as warblers, tanagers, and orioles that travel to Central and South America, three to four times farther than the short-distance migrants—the average rate of return was 76 percent.”

Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major) at Lake Howard, Winter Haven, Florida By Dan'sPix

Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major) at Lake Howard, Winter Haven, Florida By Dan’sPix

My first thoughts were why are so many not surviving here in North America. Yet, those traveling further south, seem to fare better. I knew from previous articles I’ve read that many birds die from impact with tall buildings and glass windows. Here is what they had to say:

One explanation for the higher mortality among birds that overwinter in the U.S. may be a higher number of hazards. “All birds need to stay safe from predators, find enough food, and not get hit by a car,” says Ken Rosenberg, research coauthor and conservation scientist at the Cornell Lab. “Birds wintering in the U.S. may have more habitat disturbances and more buildings to crash into, and they might not be adapted for that.” 

They also discuss in this article the differences in different breeding strategy between short distant and long distant migrants.

“And He changes the times and the seasons;” (Daniel 2:21 NKJV)

Sandhill Cranes in our side yard

Here in Florida, I have begun seeing more of the migrants that spend time near here. The Boat-tailed Grackles are invading my feeders already. I have also spotted more Bald Eagles, and the Heron, Egrets, and Sandhill Cranes seem to be more populous. Yeah, for the Winter Visitors!!

4 Billion Birds Will Fly Through American Airspace This Fall by Carley Eschiman, All About Birds, Sept 17,2018

Unbelievable Migrations from Creation Moments

Bird Migration Mistakes

Birds of the Bible – Migration September 2009

Interesting Things – Amazing Bird Migration



Birds of the Bible – Migration September 2009

Radar 9-30-09 image at 12:30 AM Eastern Daylight savings time.

Radar 9-30-09 image at 12:30 AM Eastern Daylight savings time.

I know that I have written about the migration of the birds before, but this is really interesting. They have been posting radar images of the Florida peninsula on BRDBRAIN, a bird-listing service. Here are the images for September 28th and 30th. The dark spots are the birds in migration being picked up on radar. It is amazing. I have been reading the updates for about a week and the birds are ON THE MOVE!

Even the stork in the sky Knows her seasons; And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush Observe the time of their migration; But My people do not know The ordinance of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 NASB)

9-28-2009 Bird Radar

9-28-2009 Bird Radar

When the Lord created the birds, he put within them the instinct to migrate. They go for various reasons, but that desire is there and off they go. Some do not make it across the open waters, but most do. As you can see by the radar, they know to fly around the bad weather and go where it is clear. I know here in Polk county, Florida, that the Bald Eagles have been arriving back. I have seen a Bald Eagle on 7 of the last 9 days. I was in different places in the county when they were spotted. Prior to that, I had not spotted any eagles since they left on their spring northern migration other than the few resident ones.

Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, And spread its wings toward the south? (Job 39:26 NKJV)

“Stretch her wings toward the south? – Most of the falcon tribe pass their spring and summer in cold climates; and wing their way toward warmer regions on the approach of winter. This is what is here meant by stretching her wings toward the south. Is it through thy teaching that this or any other bird of passage knows the precise time for taking flight, and the direction in which she is to go in order to come to a warmer climate? There is much of the wisdom and providence of God to be seen in the migration of birds of passage. This has been remarked before. There is a beautiful passage in Jeremiah, Jer_8:7, on the same subject:” From the Adam Clarke’s Commentary.

A few links to check out are:

See Also:
Birds of the Bible – Migration
Bird Migration Mistakes
Interesting – Migration and Mechanics of Flight
Interesting Things – Amazing Bird Migration
Birds of the Bible – Hawk Migration
Interesting Thing – Lesson from the Stork