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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bird Migration Past the Moon

Last night, while listening for migrating birds, I photographed this beautiful full moon with my 500 mm Canon lens. What a sight. You can seen the moon's geography and all the craters.

Here's a close up of some of the craters, formed by collisons with asteroids, comets and meteroites. Some of the craters are hundreds of miles across. Some of the darker areas are the moon's maria or seas. They're not really seas, as early astronomer's thought, but low lying plains. The moon is about 238,900 miles from earth and the same side of the moon is always facing earth.

American Robin

Yellow-rumped Warbler

A cool thing to do this time of year is to go out and listen and look for migrating birds. You can often see them migrating past the moon. On a good migration night you may see about one bird every several minutes. Watch the moon with your binoculars or a spotting scope. You may see a shadow of a bird flying across the moon. You can't always tell the exact species of birds, but you can tell if it is a large bird, like a robin, or a smaller bird like a warbler. Most birds migrate alone at night. They often emit special migration flight calls. So go out tonight and watch the moon and look and listen for birds. Even if you don't see any birds, you can enjoy the moon's geography.

Photos © Lillian Stokes, 2007

1 comment:

dguzman said...

Beautiful moon photo--do you use a moon (or other type of) filter? Also--I can never get the entire moon to be in focus in my digiscoped shots; I always get a little blur on about 1/5 of the edge. Is that because I'm digiscoping, or something else? Thanks in advance for any tips you care to share!