Think only humans use highways?
The Central and Pacific flyways converge in Central America over land. The Mississippi and Atlantic flyways have portions over open water, while some of the flight is over land. Most birds need to be able to stop over land to refresh themselves, although there are some long distance migrators who can fly for days without stopping and do so over large bodies of water — an amazing phenomenon we will discuss next month.
If you live along these routes, you may already know the birds that use them. To give a sense of which birds are flying overhead near you, here are a few examples:
Mississippi Flyway: Many warblers, including Connecticut warbler, Yellow warbler, Blackburnian warbler, Wilson’s warbler, Bay breasted warbler, Nashville warbler, Cerulean warbler.
Central Flyway: Sandhill crane, Ruby throated hummingbird and many duck species.
Pacific Flyway: Sanderling, Swainson’s hawk, Common yellowthroat, Long billed curlew
When can you expect to see these birds flying through? If you live along the Atlantic flyway, here’s an interesting resource to find out when birds arrive in eastern states.
If you live along any flyway, look up! You may be able to see migration going on any time of year.