Outdoor Photographer

WINTER ON THE Pacific Flyway

As summer turns to fall and the days get shorter and cooler, the change of season triggers one of nature’s remarkable journeys, as various avian species begin a southern migration to warmer climates in search of more abundant food supplies. The Pacific Flyway is one of the major north-south routes for migratory birds in America, extending from Alaska to Patagonia. Every year, birds travel some or all of this route in both spring and fall, making their way from northern breeding grounds to the warmer southern areas, where they’ll spend their winter.

The Sacramento Valley in California is situated along the flyway. It serves not only as a crucial stopover point but also as a home to approximately 75 species that end their arduous journey here to spend the winter. About 45 percent of the Pacific Flyway’s waterfowl winter in the valley, making it an important temporary home for ducks, geese and swans. Although waterfowl are plentiful, songbirds, shorebirds such as sandpipers, plovers, curlews and godwits, and sandhill cranes are among the other species that use the pathway. A number of these also reside

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