I and the Bird

This marvelous month of May is marked primarily by motion. Change is in the air as blossoms bloom, trees leaf, and critters of every species and stripe scramble to and fro in frantic preparation for quick conjugation followed by the pleasures of parenthood. At least that’s how it goes down throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere. Folks south of the equator are observing an equally impressive race to wintering grounds.

The key verb for the month is migrate, which in this context means to pass periodically from one region or climate to another. Note that birds are not said to emigrate or immigrate as these terms imply movement between home and foreign countries. No, migratory birds are cosmopolitan creatures as at home in the tropics as they are in the arctic. However, no one can call this annual exodus aimless. With notable, extremely exciting exceptions, each migrant appears to traverse hundreds or thousands of miles across flyways and byways to arrive exactly where it belongs. If they didn’t, they’d be called vagrants. Most migrants move with purpose, which makes one wonder why migrate is considered synonymous with wander.

To wander is to ramble without a definite purpose or objective. Birders may roam aimlessly, indirectly, or casually but most birds simply can’t afford to. Too bad, really, because meandering can be marvelous particularly when one makes the most of her wandering. The one I’m thinking of here is Weeta, Wanderin’ Weeta that is. Such is the nom de blog of Susannah, a splendid nature blogger out of British Columbia. Wanderin’ Weeta tackles waterfowl and weeds along with a wealth of other travels, traipses, and gallivants. She’s also attuned to what is welcome at the end of one’s wanderings: a party! Check out her entertaining edition of I and the Bird #76 titled Party at Uncle Merl’s.

Where have you been, friend? Where are you headed and more important, will there be birds there? How about blogging about your wandering ways and sharing your sightings with the I and the Bird community? Our next edition will be hosted by the ever-so-clever Carrie of Great Auk – or Greatest Auk?. Be a part of it by sending your link and summary to me or Carrie (labenc AT gmail DOT com) by June 10 for the 6/12 edition.

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.