Night Migrants by Windfalcon

Night Migrants


21 April 2016 at 16:15:16 MDT

Owls, nighthawks, and whippoorwills are what usually come to mind when people think of birds fluttering overhead on a moonlit night. However, during fall migration, many diurnal birds take a nocturnal journey down to their winter homes. A surprising amount of songbirds migrate at night, as well as geese and many ducks. On more than one night, I've heard the clear cries of Canada Geese flying ovehead in an invisible V hidden by darkness and clouds.

What advantages do birds have to migrating at night? Since many birds are at risk for predation while the sun is in the sky, they avoid many avian predators that are otherwise asleep while they slip by at night. Also traveling at night may allow them to cover more distance, simply by using more available hours to travel and less to sleep.

Clockwise from bottom: Black-Throated Blue Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Wood Thrush, Baltimore Oriole, American Robin, Brown Thrasher, Gray Catbird, American Coot, Black-Crowned Night Heron, Bufflehead, Canada Goose, Common Yellowthroat.

Watercolor on soft-press Fabriano, 7.5 X 12 inches

Submission Information

Visual / Traditional