There is a wonderful educational movie about bird migration at the Philadelphia Zoo. You can see it in the McNeil Avian Center building. It stars a cartoon oriole named Otis. He is a funny yellow bird who starts off in Cape May, New Jersey talking to a heron. She tells him that he really can’t hang around in Cape May; he needs to migrate down to South America.
On the way he meets a lady oriole – she warns him not to fly down into what we know is a big city. Maybe the big city is in Texas. Otis is tempted by all the shiny lights. Bang! He flies right into a shiny, reflective tall building. He also finds out there is little food in this shiny, bright city.
It all ends happily – he makes it down to South America, finds the lady oriole, and at the movie’s end, they are building a nest together back in the north.
At the avian center there is a section of African Savannah birds – this is an African Starling. Doesn’t look like the starlings we see in North America, does it?
Another African Savannah bird: here is an Egyptian plover. An Egyptian plover has a black crown and underparts of pale orange. It was quite warm in this part of the avian center – I suppose all these African Savannah birds would prefer a climate warmer than that of Philadelphia.
The black birds above were not part of any exhibit of birds at Philadelphia Zoo, but they were not afraid of the crowd at the zoo.
If you don’t watch where you are going at the zoo, you might run into a peacock.
Should I count this upside-down bird on the carousel as one of the birds at Philadelphia Zoo?
I learned at the bird migration movie that cardinals, unlike orioles, do not migrate. So if I keep feeding the cardinals in my backyard, maybe they will stick around all summer.
• • •
What do the birds in your area do? Do they hang around all winter or do they migrate? Do you know? How could you find out?