In the autumn season when we see flocks of birds overhead, we know that cold weather is coming. The annual migration does not mean that all birds are leaving the Pacific Northwest, known for its mild winters. Some birds, including some kingfishers and even hummingbirds, will stay for the season.
There are a lot of great ways to follow bird activity all year round via local resources such as the Seattle Audubon Society, with its office at 8050 35th Ave NE in the Wedgwood neighborhood of northeast Seattle. Seattle Audubon birdwatching, photography and sketching classes are led by neighborhood residents, including photographer Joe Sweeney and sketcher Carleen Zimmerman.
Another fun way to follow the birds (while staying warm and cozy indoors!) is via on-line tracking sites. Birds Over Portland uses images from a doppler radar station in Oregon to document bird migration, with patterns showing up as far north as Seattle.
BirdNote, a daily bird-info site which has contributing writers from the Wedgwood neighborhood, tells about the behavior and typical migration patterns of different species, such as this recent article about Purple Martins (a swallow) on their journey to Brazil.
Are you interested in the migration patterns of eagles, hummingbirds, monarch butterflies or even whooping cranes???? There is a migration tracking page for each, on the website of Journey North. Sadly, the annual ultra-light plane whooping crane migration ended in 2015, with the explanation given on the Operation Migration page.
Watching the migrations of birds and butterflies heightens our appreciation of all of God’s creatures and the seasonal changes which are the rhythm of our lives on Planet Earth.