On this Labor Day, I would just like to pay tribute to a hard working group. After a long summer of non-stop chick raising some birds must prepare to leave and fly south to wintering grounds. While reading Everything You Never Learned About Birds by Rebecca Rupp & illustrated by Jeffrey C. Domm, I was stunned to read that a bird's heart beats 400 beats a minute when resting and 1000 beats or more in flight. They also breathe about 29 times a minute resting and when flying about 450 times a minute. This is to help get oxygen to a tiny light weight bird while it is flying south.
Another amazing fact stated in this book is many birds can fly as fast as 100 miles an hour. The super fast fliers can get to speeds up to 200 miles per hour. Here are someof those fast fliers: swifts, doves, falcons and my favorite sandpipers. All this requires an amazing amount of energy.
So as we take a break from labor, let’s stop a moment to remember that the migrating birds are working very hard.
No wonder I find it hard to photograph Barn Swallows in flight at the south end of Jekyll. Here is a picture I took last year. The dot over the sea oats is a Barn Swallow.
Happy Labor Day.