Letters to the editor

Kurtz workers excelled

Regarding the story, "Wind whips up fire at Kurtz," published in the Sept. 22 Southeast Messenger, the fire department did a great job at helping with this fire, but they were not here till 4 a.m. They were gone by 1 a.m. and our employees were here for 18 hours non-stop fighting this fire and, in the days following, we had to have guys here 24 hours a day to keep it out.

The employees here at Kurtz Brothers pulled together and did whatever they needed to do to protect our company. They just don’t get any better then these guys!

Marcy Bowen
Kurtz Brothers

How do birds migrate?

To prepare for migration, birds intentionally gorge themselves to put on as much fat as possible while still being able to fly.  Fat provides the greatest amount of energy per unit of weight and, like the gas in your car, they can’t go anywhere without it.

During long migratory flights, fat deposits are used up quickly, and birds need to stop to "refuel."  This is when backyard bird feeding stations and undeveloped, natural spaces are especially important.  Some birds require up to two to three days of constant feeding to build up their fat reserves before heading out to continue their seasonal trip.

Migrating birds navigate with a combination of different methods. One method is sighting visual landmarks, following rivers, coastlines and mountains. Birds migrating during the day also use the sun as a reference point. Some birds will migrate during the night and use the stars to navigate.  Migrating at night is safer because there are fewer nighttime predators and by traveling at night, it allows time during the day to find food in unfamiliar surroundings.  

Migrating birds also have a mineral called magnetite in their brains. It is thought that this mineral enables a bird to monitor the earth’s magnetic fields to guide them north or south. It is not known how birds compensate and overcome changing constellations, sunless days, interferences in magnetic fields caused by radio towers etc. Somehow the birds are able to recalibrate their magnetic compasses based on the visual cues that are available.

To help hummingbirds with their migration, leave your feeder up for two weeks after you see your last hummingbird. This could be as late as the end of October. Be sure to keep your feeder clean and your nectar fresh.

Charlotte Leight
Lithopolis

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