Blogging for World Migratory Bird Day

Birds, Birds, and More Birds: A Migration Moment Like No Other

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Sandhill cranes and the smaller snow geese migrating through Yukon’s Tintina Trench in spring. Credit Hilary Cooke/WCS Canada.
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After a slow spring and several weeks of observing few bird species migrating at low numbers, a single day in the heart of Yukon’s Tintina Trench brought a migratory spectacle of all types of birds, including large numbers of shorebirds, such as the lesser yellowlegs (left) and solitary sandpiper (right). Credit: John Meikle.
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After a long delay this spring, Wilson’s (left) and yellow-rumped warblers (right) appeared suddenly on May 7th, migrating in very large numbers, possibly tens of thousands, along the valley of Yukon’s Tintina Trench. Photo credits: Jukka Jantunen.
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Pictures are inadequate to capture a migration phenomenon of the scale we experienced at Faro, Yukon on May 7th, 2018. In one moment, a single snapshot can only capture a small flock of Wilson’s snipe (left) or a mixed flock of waterfowl (right). These still monochromatic images neglect the immersive experience of the sight and sound of tens of thousands of migrating songbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl, cranes, and raptors over the course of a day.
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On May 8th large flocks of sandhill cranes streamed by in the thousands for more than 16 hours, filling the valley of the Tintina Trench at Faro, Yukon with their raspy, rolling call. By the end of the day we had counted 100,000. Credit Hilary Cooke/WCS Canada.

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