Each spring and fall a cascade of hormones triggered by changing day length
lures migrant birds like a Siren’s song toward the poles or equator. This
period, called Zugunruhe (migratory restlessness), is the basis of bird
migrations. Is it a misfortune that this migratory drive coincides with
some of the most violent weather systems, or is it perhaps instead a gift
when seen through the eyes of an efficiency seeking, meteorologist bird? In
fact, the frenzied flow of high and low pressure weather systems, typical
of spring and fall and found in the mid-latitudes (30° to 60°) gives rise
to the winds that fuel migration. Understanding weather and how big-picture
weather systems affect bird movements can be useful tools for birders
seeking rarities, fall-outs and other exciting migratory phenomena. Bring
your internet-enabled device to participate in the quizzes during this talk.
*Bryan Guar**e**nte *began birding at age 7 in Pennsylvania with his dad.
He became an avid lister while at the University of Northern Colorado (B.S.
in Meteorology), frequently visiting local haunts like Lower Latham
Reservoir and Crow Valley Campground. Weather and bird migration came
together while listening to night flights at the University of Illinois
while getting his Masters degree in Atmospheric Science. Bryan now teaches
Earth Sciences for Boulder’s online COMET Program.