When I stepped on the path at the wildlife refuge yesterday, I noticed that something was different. Emanating from the trees was a symphony of chirps. The tree swallows had returned from their winter migration to Central and South America. I was thrilled to see them.
As they darted among the trees, their blue iridescent wings shone in the sunlight. I watched them inspect the knotholes looking for the perfect nesting sites, and I thought about the long, arduous journey these little birds make twice a year. How do they survive that grueling trip?
So many birds across the planet migrate, with the driving force being access to food. Along the way they pollinate plants, disperse seeds, keep ecosystems in balance, and recycle nutrients back into the Earth…these small creatures contribute mightily to the health and well-being of us all.
But to me, birds are so much more than their practical contributions to the planet. They inspire and surprise and dazzle us, imparting a joyous sense of wonder and freedom.
As I delighted in the flashes of color in the trees, and thoroughly enjoyed the tree swallow symphony, I smiled.
And I say welcome home...
(New photos on website Gallery: wandernature.com/new-photos)