About 200 species of birds migrate to the North American boreal forest every summer to raise their young. They come from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, and even as far away as Australia. Africa, and the Antarctic.
What makes the far north so attractive that a bird would literally risk its life, flying vast distances to come here?
There are several reasons why birds such as Swainson's thrushes, peregrine falcons and golden plovers would travel 7,000 miles from southern South America to nest and raise their young here. One reason lies in the availability of wild land and relative safety where the males can set up breeding territories and females can find nesting spots. Much of the boreal forest is far from urban areas, industrial developments, and other human activity.
But perhaps the most important reason to journey so far is the long northern days, which bring lush plant growth and an incredible abundance of insects like mosquitoes, which are essential for birds to feed their growing nestlings.