Archive | Poetry and writing

A graceful curve..

‘Id seen the migration plotted as a clean, unbroken arc from Texas to Foxe Land, imagining the flight to be as easy and consistent as the line, a graceful curve from one point to another.  But the arc’s grace was a fiction.  The snow geese were improvising their way from winter to breeding grounds, stage […]

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Pendulum

‘There were people I missed.  I felt the allure of familiar scenes, the pendulum of my impulses swinging back again, swinging back from what was new and undiscovered towards all that was known, named, remembered, understood.’ William Fiennes, ‘The Snow Geese’

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Avian orientation

‘The mechanisms of avian orientation are not fully understood.  In species that migrate in flocks, including ducks and geese, experienced birds may guide juveniles from breeding grounds to winter grounds and back again.  Birds are know to inherit an endogenous programme for migratory activity; to navigate using solar, magnetic and stellar compasses; and to pilot […]

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bending eastwards..

‘Tail-lights moved in the traffic flow like red-hot coals in lava streams, and sometimes the line of Interstate 35 appeared ahead of us, a light-course bending eastwards, not perceptibly founded on solid ground, but airborne.’ William Fiennes, ‘The Snow Geese’

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Zugunruhe

‘In accordance with their inherited calendars, birds get an urge to move.  When migratory birds are held in captivity, they hop about, flutter their wings and flit from perch to perch just as birds of the same species are migrating in the wild.  The caged birds ‘know’ they should be travelling too.  This migratory restlessness, […]

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Warblers

‘The warblers were not relying on environmental cues:  the changes in their behaviour were prompted by an internal clock consisting of two fundamental rhythms.  Circadian rhythms, corresponding to the twenty-four-hour cycle of the Earth’s rotation on its axis, regulate daily changes in metabolic rate, body temperature and level of alertness.  Circannual rhythms, corresponding to the […]

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