Yes, the chicks are still here, but the pre-migration shuffle has begun. It started three days ago when the rhythm of things began to change ever so slightly. It’s almost imperceptible at first, something felt more than seen, like aging or a familiar song played in a different key, but you just know there’s something…. different. Then as the days pass, it builds, gains momentum, grows louder until one morning it happens; the connection with this place is severed and the chicks burst skyward in a raucous spiral until both altitude and direction are achieved and migration begins. Until then, we wait.

The question, “When are those birds going to leave?” has been replaced with “What are you going to do if they don’t leave?” To which I reply “Well, never in the last ten years have they not left.” The rough date range has been the 21st of March to the 14th of April if I remember correctly, and keep in mind there are still adults in Florida that haven’t begun migration yet. (Adult birds, that is). But yes, it is a little nerve racking.

Funny how worries reverse themselves on you – I mean, every morning for months you wake up worrying that that the chicks might not be there when you go out to check and now you wake up worrying that they will. But of course, worrying does give life purpose. As the Bard said, “I worry, therefore I am.”

“So what are you going to do if they don’t go?”

That’s easy…. and can be answered with three letters. “UPS!” – Stay tuned… Film at 11.

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