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Kingfisher, Coloured Pencils, Paula Kuitenbrouwer, photo Thomas Kluck
Long ago people did not know that some birds migrate. They thought the birds hid in holes in the ground and slept all winter. Some people guessed that birds spent the winter in the mud on the bottoms of ponds. Before you dismiss this as silly, think about how strange it must have felt that birds are there and all of the sudden they are gone. People did not know where these birds go. They couldn’t imagine that birds could fly long distances or fly over water for 500 miles without stopping. And how would birds find their way during daytime and night time? So the thought that birds would hide isn’t that silly. Imagine you see this Kingfisher diving in a pond regularly in search of food. The thought that it would stay in the mud on the bottoms of ponds or that owls would hid in holes in big trees isn’t a big stretch. We now know birds migrate and do not hibernate. We’ve learned birds fly enormous distances and do a fine job navigating with the help of landscapes, stars, the position of the sun and moon, and perhaps with the Earth’s magnetic field. Clever birds. To teach my daughter about clever birds, I’ve read to her ‘How do Birds Find Their Way’ by Rona Gans and ‘The Boy Who Drew Birds, a story of John James Audubon’ by Jacqueline Davies. I highly recommend these books.