Migrations: When We Are Not the Only Traveler

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) in Weed, California
Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) in Weed, California
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Geese over Bel Marin Keys, California

When we think of migration, I think that Canadian Geese are the first thought in North America.  They are so prevalent all over the country.

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Humpback Whale off the coast of San Simeon, California

In California, we often think of the whales migrating along the coast.  Grey Whales and Humpback Whales can be seen making their way from Baja Mexico to Alaska.  However, the best show we have ever seen was just after landing in Maui.  Very hungry, we decided to eat at a restaurant where we knew the food would be less than spectacular but was overlooking the Maalea Bay.  To our surprise, Humpback Whales overwintering in Hawaii were jumping, breaching, and tail slapping in every direction.  The entertainment made up for a mediocre meal.

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Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Maalea Bay, Maui, Hawaii
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Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Maalea Bay, Maui, Hawaii
Long Finned Eels (Anguilla dieffenbachii)
Long Finned Eels (Anguilla dieffenbachii)

What about the less than obvious?  While in Norsewood, New Zealand, we stopped at the New Zealand Natural Clothing store.  From across the shop, I heard Emma talking to someone but wasn’t sure what I heard and had to ask, “Are we seeing the eels or eating the eels.”  Emma, missing key information in the accent stated, “I’m not sure.”  The very gracious owner adopted us for an hour and showed us the Longfin Eels migrating through the streams behind the shop.  The eels were almost tame eating out of a neighbor’s hand and playing with his Jack Russel Terrier in the shallow water.  They explained their life cycle and migration from New Zealand to the Pacific Ocean near Tonga; information that served us well when we discovered the Longfin Eels on the South Island.

Long Finned Eels (Anguilla dieffenbachii) in Nelson Lakes National Park, New Zealand
Long Finned Eels (Anguilla dieffenbachii) in Nelson Lakes National Park, New Zealand

Sometimes, when we travel, we are seeing migration without knowing it.  We are not from the area, they are not from the area, but no one knows who is the “local.”

Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) in Weed, California
Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) in Weed, California
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Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus)

Just as when we travel, we want to feel welcome, it’s important for us to welcome the migratory species that come through our neighborhood.

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Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus)
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Monarch Butterflies (Danaus plexippus) in Pismo Beach, California

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