I was out on Sunday or Monday afternoon, walking to the store or feeding alley cats, or something. It was a temperate weekend, and I heard something I didn’t expect: Canada geese. LOTS of them. In the traditional V-shaped flight pattern, but also in arcs, lines, all crisscrossing, filling the whole sky as far as you could see off into the distance. More and more kept coming, all honking, and headed North. I’ve seen a lot of crows (my favorite birds) in similar numbers before West Nile decimated them for years. Several years ago, I was teaching a course at Big Spring, Missouri, and there were tons of hawks and vultures all gliding on the thermals over the spring. But this was incredible. I wish I’d had my camera.
But what’s more interesting and alarming is that this was in early February. Migratory birds think it’s spring already. We are seeing insects shifting their ranges north, and we’re even getting armadillos just south of St. Louis. That’s persuasive in terms of climate change, but when species migrate early, that’s extremely persuasive.