Source: Nature: "Earth Navigators"
Major corporate support for the Nature collection was provided by Canon U.S.A. and SC Johnson. Additional support was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the nation’s public television stations.
The long days of summer in the Arctic Circle provide birds migrating from the south with abundant sunlight and food. This video segment from Nature features the birds of the arctic summer and describes how optimal conditions attract many species of birds to places such as Lake Myvatn in Iceland. The lake is a perfect sanctuary for birds to breed and raise their families.
Seasonal changes impel a wide variety of creatures to begin migrations - sometimes on an epic scale - to feeding, mating, and breeding grounds. These journeys sometimes cover thousands of miles and require ingenious methods to accomplish.
Now, it’s mid-summer, June 21st, the summer solstice. The Earth has reached another milestone in its orbit. In the northern hemisphere, it’s the longest day and the Arctic is bathed in continual sunlight.
In Iceland, just below the Arctic Circle, the midnight sun barely dips below the horizon. For a moment, the relentless march of the seasons seems to slow down and pause as if the Earth is drawing breath. It’s a time of peace, stillness, tranquility.
The swans have a new family, a very close family.
These chicks have ‘imprinted’ on their parents, a very powerful bond that means the chicks will follow them everywhere. It’ll make the difference between life and death when the time comes to leave.
There are new families all over Lake Myvatn, taking advantage of the long hours of daylight.
The Arctic terns also have their chicks, now growing quickly in the Arctic summer. It’s these long days and almost limitless supplies of food that draw so many birds to the Arctic for the summer.
But this far north, summer doesn’t last. Even by June, plants start to set seed and the chicks will soon have to be strong enough to leave with their parents.
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