In Winter The Birds Know Better

ECHO underway, posted Monday, January 31, 2011


Then again, Connecticuters take Amtrak (if it’s running).

The Connecticut Warbler, choosing another eccentric course, adopts different routes for its southward and northward journeys.  All the individuals of this species winter in South American, and so far as known all go and come by the same direct route between Florida and South American across the West Indies; but north of Florida the spring and fall routes diverge.  The spring route leads the birds up the Mississippi Valley to their summer home in southern Canada, but fall migration begins with a 1,000-mile trip almost due east to New England, whence the coast is followed southwest to Florida.  (From Thomas Gilbert Pearson, Birds of America, 1936, from which the image above is taken).

The great ornithologist Alexander Wilson was the first to collect this species, naming it after the state in which he found it in 1812.  Alas, the bird was on its way to Florida and then on to South America.  Connecticut Warblers do not make their homes in Connecticut!