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RALPH ELDRIDGE | profile | all galleries >> MACHIAS SEAL ISLAND ---- MIGRANT BIRDS tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

MACHIAS SEAL ISLAND ---- MIGRANT BIRDS

SITTING ON THE ATLANTIC FLYWAY, ABOUT 10 MILES OFF THE COAST, M.S.I. HOSTS A FULL RANGE OF MIGRATING BIRDS, BOTH NIGHT-FLYING AND DAY-FLYING.
THE NORMAL ROUTE OF THESE BIRDS IS OVER WATER. DURING ADVERSE WEATHER, MANY OF THESE BIRDS ARE FORCED TO LAND ANYWHERE THAT THEY CAN. THE ISLAND SERVES AS A LIFEBOAT WHERE THEY CAN REST AND PERHAPS GET ENOUGH FOOD TO GET THEM TO THEIR NEXT STOP. SOME STAY FOR A FEW HOURS WHILE A FEW WILL HANG AROUND FOR SEVERAL DAYS.
THERE ARE NO TREES OR LARGE SHRUBS FOR COVER OR PERCHING SO MANY OF THESE BIRDS CONGERGATE AROUND THE LIGHTHOUSE, DWELLING, BOARDWALKS AND OTHER STRUCTURES AT NIGHT; ANYWHERE THAT IS A BIT DRIER OR A BIT SHELTERED.


ALTHOUGH THEY WILL PERMIT CLOSE APPROACH, CAUTION IS REQUIRED TO AVOID FURTHER STRESSING THESE BIRDS, MANY OF WHICH ARE EHXAUSTED NEAR TO DEATH.
THEREFORE, PHOTOGRAPHIC QUALITY HAS OFTEN BEEN SACRIFICED TO AVOID HARMING THE BIRDS.
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