Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Where are they now?

As I briskly walked along Spring Valley enjoying the crisp coolness of this Autumnal morning and seeing very few birds, I admit that I longed for the flashes of color common to Spring and Summer birds. I started wondering, where are my favorite Spring-Summer birds right now?

Our general understanding since our tender-minded youth is that birds go South for the winter. But now I ask, how far and where in the south do they go? With some quick online research, here is what I've discovered about winter residences for Idaho's summer birds.

Swainson's Hawk - these guys travel more than 6200 miles south to central Argentina where the seasons are opposite of ours. Ahhhh...perpetual summer! But, traveling 124 per day to get there over a couple of months would be grueling.

Black-chinned Hummingbird - the west coast of central and lower Mexico make for a nice winter retreat.

Western Wood-Pewee - Make a west coast trending crescent starting in Venezuela, through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and part way into Bolivia.

Say's Phoebe - a jaunt to the Southwestern United States or about anywhere in Mexico works well enough.

Western Kingbird - the west coast of southern Mexico and Central America, right down to the Panama Canal. Some winter residents even show up on the southern tip of Florida.

Eastern Kingbird - it looks like these guys migrate down the east coast of Central America and winter in a central swath of South America from its northern tip down to Paraguay and northern Argentina. Sorry Uruguay...no Eastern Kingbirds for you!

Bank Swallow - Throughout South America; also common along Pacific slope of southern Mexico.

Gray Catbird - Ahhh...these guys know how to have a good time in the winter as they hang out on the Gulf Coast of the United States, along the Gulf of Mexico, all the way down to the northern most tip of Colombia, and across all the Caribbean islands. Nice!

Yellow Warbler - the west coast of southern Mexico and throughout Central America and the northern countries of South America. They have even been known to winter in the Arizona, Nevada, California border corner.

Yellow-breasted Chat - both coasts of southern Mexico and throughout Central America.

Western Tanager - central Mexico through most of Central America, but thinning out by Nicaragua.

Black-headed Grosbeak - a winter and year round resident in Mexico.

Lazuli Bunting - a little strip of south-central Arizona down along the west coast of Mexico.

Brown-headed Cowbird - in winter they head for the US west coast, toward the eastern states, or down into Mexico.

Bullock's Oriole - throughout most of Mexico.

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