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Flyways Fall


Thrill to Flocks in Full Flight by Timothy Boucher


F


all migration literally brings birds of a different feather than in spring- time. Spring migration brings a glo- rious burst of song and color as millions of tiny feathered gems pour northward, singing their hearts out, flitting about with the excitement of arrival at their breeding grounds. They are relatively easy to spot and identify by their voices and bright plumage. In the fall, birdwatching is tricki-


er. To survive, migrating birds need to go to warmer climes for food, because insects do not thrive in cold tempera- tures. Males molt their bright plum- age, needing fresh feathers for the long flight. Most retain some color, but generally, they are duller and look similar to the females. Identification becomes harder because some spe- cies are similar in appearance and the singing gives way to an occasional, subtle call, emitted as little chipping sounds at most. The Internet offers a comprehensive


range of data that can suggest which days are best for early morning viewings. Experienced birders know the best local spots, and weather forecasts are good


46 Collier/Lee Counties swfl.NaturalAwakeningsMag.com


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