Bird migration is rather mysterious. The hows and whys are still imperfectly known, the whens are variable, and the wheres have attracted speculation ranging from “under the earth” to “up to the moon” – with the most recent discovery of a North American species’ wintering grounds happening just this year.

On a related note, a few of you — like my mom — may have noticed that I missed a couple of posts back there. In an attempt to be more like birds, I’m not going to just straight-up tell you where I was, oh no. On the other hand, you don’t need to band me. Let’s not be silly. Instead, here are a series of my sad, abominable photos to help you figure it out before I lay a series of posts extolling how wonderful it was on you.(By the way, my mom already knows where I was so it’s cheating for her to guess.)

1. Feel free to hate me for this one:
mystery gull

2. How about this:
mystery passerine

3. Or this:
mystery passerine 2 - hint, this one's a wagtail

4. Maybe this will help:
mystery birds on church

5. Ok, fine:
mystery bird sign

Written by Carrie
Carrie Laben, after years of writing and birding in New York, moved to Montana to pursue her two great passions more effectively. She recently graduated with an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Montana in Missoula. When she is not cranking out essays and speculative fiction stories, or wandering around on mountains failing to see the birds she is looking for, she is likely to be drinking one of the many fine local microbrews or attending a potluck with something from the local farmer’s market in hand. On Mondays from 3 to 3:30 Mountain Time you can find her answering questions about birds on live chat at