The migrations you can't miss

From polar bears to hawks, witness one of nature's most magical events

Megan Cytron
September 4, 2011 11:01PM (UTC)

We human beings tend to think of ourselves as an adventurous species, but the way we travel is really nothing compared to the migratory odysseys of wildlife. Even Aristotle was mystified by the seasonal changes of Athenian bird life (he erroneously posited that one species transformed into another). During the past 10 years, new technology that allows scientists to monitor increasingly smaller species has revealed a hidden network of pathways that span the globe. And so we learn that things are far more complex than we could have ever imagined, with millions of dragonflies flying across the open sea from India to Africa, zooplankton migrating vertically in the oceans, and indigo buntings using star patterns for celestial navigation.

While we don't have teeming masses of migrating wildebeest (or bison or passenger pigeons, for that matter), North America is traversed by nearly every type of migration. This time of year, as the summer slowly gives way to fall, is a perfect moment to ponder the ancient patterns of wildlife. These 13 hot spots demonstrate the diversity of migration -- be it by land, sea, river or air -- and the remarkably different creatures who embark on these ambitious trips. Tell us about your fall plans to catch migratory animals in action in the comments.


You can find more migrations on Trazzler.

Megan Cytron

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