Hail the mighty songbird, he/she has more energy than all of us combined....
Turns out, songbirds are "prodigious flyers", motivated by the ultimate desire to find a suitable mate. In the Spring, returning from their Winter break in South America, some song birds can fly up to 311 miles a day! We're talking about tiny beings that weight no more than 50 grams; males and females who book it back up to the northern breeding grounds looking for Love with a capitol "L"!
Talk about Big Love.
One Purple Martin, we'll call him Cupid, flew 4,650 miles, from Brazil to Pennsylvania. It took him 13 days to make his epic journey, and in all likelihood, he's not the only speed demon.
With the aid of tiny geo-locator data chips, scientists are just now beginning to understand the mysteries of song bird migration and mating patterns.
*"I don't think anybody had any idea these little birds could fly that fast," said the report's lead author, Bridget Stutchbury, a biology professor at Canada's York University. She noted that previous studies had suggested songbirds traveled only a third as fast. "This is the first time anyone has been able to map songbird migration to the tropic and back, " she said.
No wonder there is such a ruckus at the bird feeders these days--these guys are tired, hungry, and have one thing on their little bird brains!
I don't care if Super Cardinal wakes me every morning at 5 a.m. He deserves to sing.
As for me, allow me just a few more moments of sleep....
*from The Washington Post, February 13, 2009