Early in the spring, Swan Haven offers Yukoners a place to watch swans and other water birds as they stop to rest on their long migration north.

Shortly thereafter we see small groups of swans flying past our farm, trumpeting as they go.

Our geese really notice when wild birds fly overhead. The migrating fowl tend to honk to each other while they fly, and our geese understand these honks and reply. I am sure they would love to join the migrating birds, but ours are too heavy to lift off the ground. Instead they are content with a trip to the dugout. There they swim around, bathe, and preen.

We notice other migrations each spring. One I particularly enjoy is the return of the robin, and other songbirds. In the evening, their songs add a peaceful end to a long day.

I also notice the return of the bald eagles. They used to nest on the mountain behind our house, but they are no longer here. But we can spot them on the highway, where there is an abundance of gophers.

I look forward to the return of the barn swallows most of all. These birds eat mosquitos, and they are welcome to them. This year the barn swallows were back early, which is good because the mosquitos were too.

In Northern farm life, other migrations often happen. Last week we got our turkey poults. They make the trip from Edmonton by air, arriving as day-old chicks. It isn’t a long trip, although any travel is stressful. In the past, chicks have come from as far as Quebec.

There are more young animals who migrate.

Piglets are one of the more common animals to migrate to the Yukon. This year we weren’t able to have piglets born on the farm like we have in the past. So we went looking for piglets to raise this summer. I managed to find some who were born in the Yukon, so our piglets won’t be migrating from as far away as they might have.

Bears migrate in the spring, too, and with all the changes happening it’s one we need to keep in mind while working out in the garden, or just taking a walk. We’ve had a bear living on the mountain behind our house every summer. It leaves to hibernate in the fall. Sometimes we see it but most often we don’t. But yesterday, as I was coming home from town a young bear crossed the highway in front of me heading for the mountain. Well, I guess it’s to be expected — we do live in Grizzly Valley, after all.

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