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What are they up to down there. Part 2 of 2


Oct 18, 2019

What are they up to down there? Part 2 of 2

More birds are feeding in a smaller geographic territory in winter habitat, so rubbing shoulders is probably inevitable. Also, as our chickadees and titmice have found in our backyard mixed flocks; more eyes looking can mean easier and safer feeding.

There is a fair amount of competition for good habitat, a situation that is likely to become more critical as more habitat is destroyed. On the surface, it would seem that that the lush vegetation and abundant insects of the tropical forests would be sufficient to feed all comers, but there is a clear difference in the quality of life between, for instance, cloud forests and scrub forests.

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It makes sense that the stronger birds, better fed and protected in winter, will have the easiest time during migration and the easiest time defending a breeding territory. Thus, many birds’ chances for reproductive success are sometimes set up before the trip north even begins.

A great deal is still unknown about how migrating songbirds spend their winter “vacation”, but one thing is sure: whatever they do down there, they’ll linger in our memories until they return in spring.