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!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Bats in Motion!

Illustration copyright Susan Detwiler
"The end of summer is near. Crickets are singing their evening song. Deep in a cave, a Brazilian free-tailed bat pup wakes up and flexes her wings. She has been roosting all day and now she's hungry. She's not the only one. Soon huge clouds of small, dark, winged bodies whirl through the sky. The bats are hunting for moths, beetles, and other insects. For the first time in her life, the new pup joins her mother to look for food. In the fall, she and the rest of her colony will be on the move, migrating south for the winter." ~ On the Move: Mass Migrations by Scotti Cohn
Below I'll give you some places where you can see lots of bats and learn more about bats. But first, here are some photos I took at Safari Park in San Diego, California:

Safari Park, San Diego CA (photo by Scotti Cohn)
Safari Park, San Diego CA (photo by Scotti Cohn)
Safari Park, San Diego CA (photo by Scotti Cohn)
Safari Park, San Diego CA (photo by Scotti Cohn)

In North America, one place to see huge numbers of bats is _Carlsbad Caverns_ in New Mexico:
"The best bat flights normally occur in July and August. At this time baby bats, born in early summer, join the flight along with migrating bats from colonies further north." 
Also, be sure to check out the _Congress Avenue Bridge_ in Austin, Texas:
"Late July through mid-August is the best time to see impressive flights, as new born pups first begin to forage with their mothers."
 And here are a few more links you might want to visit to learn more about bat migration:

Monday, March 16, 2015

Salamander Migration 2015

copyright Susan Detwiler
"Spring paints the forest in fresh shades of purple, yellow, and green. Warm rain falls in drips and drops on the cold ground. Spotted salamanders crawl out of their underground homes after dark. . . This is their big night, and soon they are on the move." ~ On the Move: Mass Migrations by Scotti Cohn
The spring migration of the spotted salamander usually occurs after a hard rain and temperatures are around 55 degrees Fahrenheit, especially after a week or so of warmer temperatures to help warm the ground. This year, on March 31, residents of Brookeville, Maryland, will gather at Rachel Carson Conservation Park to observe the migration there.

Salamanders make a big difference in ecosystems because of the amount of insects they consume, and they are prey for birds and small mammals. Here is an interesting article about research and studies that are being done about salamanders: Ohio State researcher discusses salamander study in the county.

In some areas, roads are closed during the period of time that salamanders are traveling to their breeding ground. Crossing brigades are organized to protect the salamanders. Some communities plan special activities during which people can view the migration firsthand and learn more about why it takes place. For example, in Arcadia, Massachusetts, "Big Night" hikes and activities are scheduled for April 11 of this year: Arcadia's Big Night.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Bald Eagles On the Move!

In winter, bald eagles that live in certain areas of North America have to leave their nesting areas because those areas freeze up, and the birds cannot find enough food to survive. For example, each year, hundreds of bald eagles overwinter in the Red Wing and Wabasha areas near the Mississippi River in Minnesota. The best viewing opportunities there are in December through March.

image copyright Susan Detwiler

By January, many eagles that live in states and provinces to the north have traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to join hundreds of year-round resident bald eagles in California. On some midwinter statewide surveys, more than 1,000 bald eagles have been counted in California. The largest concentration of wintering eagles is found in the Klamath Basin, on the California-Oregon border. Best viewing opportunities are December through March.

The start of the new year in Illinois means bald eagle watching season throughout the state. The eagles fly in by the thousands and stay through March. One way to see these birds in their natural habitat is by going on a Bald Eagle Safari in Rock Island.

The Delaware River valley is another important wintering habitat for bald eagles. Depending on weather conditions, the eagles begin arriving in mid-December. By mid-March most eagles begin the return to their breeding areas located to the north. Some eagles migrate from as far away as Canada.

photo by Scotti Cohn

photo by Scotti Cohn

Here are some web sites where you can read more about bald eagle migration: