When one recalls that most birds appear to be more or less helpless in the dark, it seems remarkable that many should select the night hours for extended travel. Among those that do, however, are the great hosts of shore birds, rails, flycatchers, orioles, most of the great family of sparrows, the warblers, vireos, and thrushes, and in fact, the majority of small birds. That it is common to find woods and fields on one day almost barren of bird life, and on the following day filled with sparrows, warblers, and thrushes, would indicate the arrival of migrants during the night.
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Sportsmen sitting in their “blinds” frequently observe the passage of flocks of ducks and geese, but great numbers of these birds also pass through at night, the clarion call of the Canada goose, or the conversational gabbling of a flock of ducks being common night sounds in spring and fall in many parts of the country. The sibilant, nocturnal calls of the upland plover or Bartramian sandpiper and of other shore birds during their spring and fall flights form vivid memories in the minds of many students of migration.
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