The Wonder of Migration and Bird Flight

The peak of the songbird migration is a very exciting time for Toronto naturalists and for naturalists all across North America. It is a great time to stop and consider the miracle that bird flight is and to marvel at the long distances birds travel –anywhere from 4,000- 7,000 kilometers. 

A bird’s body is like every other vertebrate’s body, including our own. A bird’s body has the same bones as ours–they are just adapted for a different lifestyle. The video below examines chicken bones, and compares them to the bones of the human body. It tracks some of the key adaptations that allow birds to get off the ground.  Please feel free to stop the video and do some drawings in your nature journal. Examine a chicken, the next time you make soup–maybe you will notice some other adaptations, not mentioned in this video. 

It is also fun to consider the adaptations that are different between birds of different species, that allow them to take advantage of particular habitats.

The Toronto Field Naturalists wish to acknowledge this land through which we walk. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississauga of the Credit River. Today it is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to be on this land.