Spring Migration


Spring has sprung—the migration has begun.

The fields of Eastern Oregon are alive with the sounds and sights of migration. Thousands of birds are en route from their wintering homes to their northern breeding grounds. This spectacle is one of the grand wonders of nature.

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

A Birder's pot of Gold

A Birder’s pot of Gold








The farm-studded fields southeast of Burns sparkled with birds—Black-necked Stilts, Cinnamon Teal and Sandhill cranes. Even our national gem—the Bald Eagle appeared.

Those Greater Sandhill Cranes stole the show, however, as they strutted about courting prospective mates with jumps and bows center stage in a cattle field.

English: Sandhill Cranes in Yellowstone Nation...

Sandhill Cranes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The scene changed on Malheur Lake as American White Pelicans staged a ballet on the water. In a harmony of movement, they swam in a perfect circle, dipping their bills in unison, scooping sustenance from the water.

American White Pelicans

American White Pelicans (Photo credit: Roger Smith)

But the most mesmerizing moment came when an enormous cloud of Snow & Ross’s geese rose from the fields and soared overhead. The air pulsated with thousands of beating wings and their plaintive call pierced the skies. Watch the display here:

Cloud of Geese

Standing under the goose canopy, dwarfed by the dramatic display I found myself giving thanks for these graceful creatures whose rhythm of migration reminds me that life itself is a journey.

Whether we are ascending peaks of joy or crawling through valleys of sorrow, we push onward as each of us participate in the pilgrimage mapped out for us:

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.” Psalm 84:5-7

I pray you enjoy the journey, my friend.

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About the Author

Carol O'Casey


  1. Beautiful! Wish we could go hiking together.

    • Carol O'Casey

      Thanks, Crystal. Let me know when your’re in the area. I’d love to hike with you as well. I see you have some great places to run and hike in your neck of the woods.Enjoy!

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