Thursday, June 3, 2010

The canary in the coal mine

"In migratory flights most birds apparently progress at a speed of twenty to fifty miles an hour, and the long journeys made by some are accomplished by moving for long hours at a steady rate rather than by tremendous bursts of speed for short distances. Observations of birds flying by night, made at lighthouses and other favorable points, have shown that migrants pass in regular unhurried flight. If we postulate ten hours as a fair period for a nonstop migration flight over land, the speeds that have been cited would in that period carry the smaller birds from 200 to 270 miles, and ducks and geese from 420 to 590 miles. These are instances of magnitude, particularily when travel is in a direct air line, and would enable the birds to cover the ordinary migration route from Canada or the northern States to the Gulf coast region, or even to Central and South America....."*

Wonder how the birds will be able to make the non-stop flight when the "Gulf coast region" is closed due to oil?

*Smithsonian Scientific Series, Vol 9, Signed Patrons Edition, 1934. Complete 12-volume set offered for sale by Chewybooks as of June 3, 2010.

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