'The swift family has evolved almost exclusively for an aerial existence, and the needle-tailed swifts of Africa and Asia are the fastest of all birds in level flight, capable of attaining speeds of up to 105 miles per hour.' William Fiennes, 'The Snow Geese'
One in six
'In the winter, swifts ringed in Britain are most often found in Malawi.? One in six perishes on the way. William Fiennes, 'The Snow Geese'
A graceful curve..
'Id seen the migration plotted as a clean, unbroken arc from Texas to Foxe Land, imagining the flight to be as easy and consistent as the line, a graceful curve from one point to another.? But the arc's grace was a fiction.? The snow geese were improvising their way...
'Everything airborne was travelling? northwards: winds, clouds, geese.' William Fiennes, 'The Snow Geese'
'There were people I missed.? I felt the allure of familiar scenes, the pendulum of my impulses swinging back again, swinging back from what was new and undiscovered towards all that was known, named, remembered, understood.' William Fiennes, 'The Snow Geese'
'The mechanisms of avian orientation are not fully understood.? In species that migrate in flocks, including ducks and geese, experienced birds may guide juveniles from breeding grounds to winter grounds and back again.? Birds are know to inherit an endogenous...
'Tail-lights moved in the traffic flow like red-hot coals in lava streams, and sometimes the line of Interstate 35 appeared ahead of us, a light-course bending eastwards, not perceptibly founded on solid ground, but airborne.' William Fiennes, 'The Snow Geese'
'Auroras, narwhals, wildernesses, infinite numbers: my restlessness, my appetite for snow geese, grew stronger line by line.' William Fiennes, 'The Snow Geese'
'In accordance with their inherited calendars, birds get an urge to move.? When migratory birds are held in captivity, they hop about, flutter their wings and flit from perch to perch just as birds of the same species are migrating in the wild.? The caged birds 'know'...
'The warblers were not relying on environmental cues:? the changes in their behaviour were prompted by an internal clock consisting of two fundamental rhythms.? Circadian rhythms, corresponding to the twenty-four-hour cycle of the Earth's rotation on its axis,...