Welcome to Animals On the Move!

My children's book ON THE MOVE was published in Spring 2013 by Arbordale Publishing.
In this blog I will be letting you know about animal mass migrations taking place in North America.
So scroll on down!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Here Come the Elephant Seals!

"Most of the year, northern elephant seals live alone. They swim, dive, and hunt. Come winter, they are on the move. They haul out on land, and soon the beach is covered with seals. They squawk, squeak, bellow, belch, grunt, and gurgle." (from On the Move by Scotti Cohn)

copyright Susan Detwiler

"From December through March a breeding colony of elephant seals can be observed from Elephant Seal Overlook near Chimney Rock, above beautiful Drakes Bay. The males are the first to arrive here, in December, to stake out a claim on the beach. Then pregnant females begin to arrive and soon give birth to a single pup. Subadult and juvenile animals arrive and the colony can number close to one hundred animals.  Point Reyes National Seashore is one of only about a dozen sites where northern elephant seals breed worldwide." (sources at links below)

Read more about elephant seals in California:

And ...
Be sure to check out the _elephant seal camera_! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Time for the Tundra Buggy Cam!

illustration copyright Susan Detwiler

It's 32 degrees Fahrenheit and snowing today "way up north" in Manitoba, Canada, and the polar bears are back! They are gathering along the Hudson Bay to wait for ice to form. At this time, the bears are in a state known as "walking hibernation."

You can keep an eye on them via the Tundra Buggy Lodge camera located in Churchill, Canada. Best viewing hours are 10:00am - 4:00pm, Central Time. You can help scientists by simply taking a snapshot!

Here is the link:

And here is Susan Detwiler's beautiful illustration from On the Move!

from On the Move by Scotti Cohn, illustrated by Susan Detwiler

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Snakes Alive!

"It's the end of a sunny autumn day in the forest. . . Every year at this time, snakes that live in cold climates travel to dens to spend the winter. They often return to the same den each year, and large groups of snakes may share the same den." ~ On the Move
Illustration copyright Susan Detwiler

Click HERE to read about the fall snake migration at Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois!

And here's a picture of the king snake who lives in my front yard:

"King Louie"

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Monarch Butterflies on the Move!

"Up north, the autumn air is chilly. Monarch butterflies flutter their brilliant orange and gold wings. Soon they are on the move. More and more monarchs join the flight until tens of millions of monarchs are flying south together...
copyright Susan Detwiler

...These butterflies have not made this trip before. Somehow they know to take the same route as the monarchs who lived before them. They even stop to rest in the same places. Once they reach their southern home, the monarchs will sleep for much of the winter." (from On the Move by Scotti Cohn)
 To read more about monarch migration, check out these cool web sites!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Three for the Price of One!

Horseshoe Crabs, Red Knot Birds, and Dragonflies -- Oh My!

copyright Susan Detwiler

Every year in late spring, thousands of horseshoe crabs crawl onto the beaches along Delaware Bay to mate. The females lay eggs in the sand. Between April and June, volunteers conduct a horseshoe crab survey, trying to get an idea of how many crabs are coming onto the beach that year.

Each year red knots and other shore birds gather on these same beaches to eat the horseshoe crab eggs. The red knot makes one of the longest migratory trips of any bird — 9,300 miles, from southern South America to its high Arctic breeding grounds. The horseshoe crab egg feast these birds consume at Delaware Bay is absolutely crucial for the birds’ survival. When the knots arrive at Delaware Bay, their bodies are half their starting weight, devoid of fat and even some muscle.

At the same time the crabs and red knots are congregating on the Delaware Bay beaches, you can see huge numbers of common green darner dragonflies as they pass through on their way north. Even larger groups of them pass through this same area when they fly south in the fall. 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Launch Party!

A great big THANK YOU to Hub City Bookshop for hosting my launch party for ON THE MOVE. Great store, great people! I'm looking forward to doing more events with them.

New bookmarks and business cards I made to feature all three of my picture books:

I had a drawing for this stuffed animal gray whale, won by an absolutely adorable first grader named Eli. In the excitement I failed to get my picture with him. (sigh)

A few more photos:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sandhill Crane Watch!

"Spring swoops onto the prairie on a brisk, bold breeze. A warbling, trumpeting, chirping noise gets louder and louder. Soon hundreds of thousands of sandhill cranes fill the sky. They're on the move!" (On the Move by Scotti Cohn, Illustrated by Susan Detwiler)
copyright 2013 Susan Detwiler

"Every year during March and early April, over 500,000 sandhill cranes converge on the Platte River valley in Nebraska in order to ‘fuel up’ before resuming their northward migration. . .

The 2nd annual Crane Watch Festival dates have been set for March 22nd through March 31st.  This year's festival will continue the tradition with a calendar of fun-filled, educational, family activities, entertainment and community wide events..."

(For more information, go to the Kearney Visitors Bureau website and the Crane Watch Festival web site.)