Sunday, May 15, 2016

How far can you carry your seed?

A North American migrant, the American robin,
is known for catching the worm, but over half its diet is fruit!
photo: Kristof-vt, Wikimedia commons
As we speak, millions of birds from hundreds of species are migrating north from the tropics to their summer breeding areas in Europe, northern Asia, and North America, where new leaves, fruits, seeds, and insects are super-plentiful now but disappear in the winter (when the birds fly south again).

The migration itself is miraculous, given the small size of many of these animals. Not just that they travel so far and so fast, but that some carry seeds between stops along the way, helping plants disperse over larger distances than people realized.