It might have been to places where you'd need a passport and vaccinations to visit. Those ducks that show up every winter in your local park? It's likely they were hatched in the Arctic tundra. When you stop to think about it, birds are the last connection to the wild for many of us. And the arrival and departure of birds - particularly during their heroic migrations -- is a link to nature's rhythms. .
But that bond can be broken. We are seeing fewer and fewer migratory birds, even many so-called common species. That's because they depend on a chain of food and rest stops, whether they travel up the Mississippi River or along the Atlantic or Pacific coasts. Break enough links in the chain, and birds die - or are never born.