Common Yellowthroat. Photograph by Sandy Selesky.
Think of all the times that you bird a particular location, be it your own property or a favored birding haunt, and see, year after year, a species return to its breeding area. A Common Yellowthroat, for example, shows up annually in our Vermont yard, often singing in the early morning from a specific thicket, and has been doing so for well over a decade. It seems likely that some individuals returned for consecutive years. Still, it is also clear that many individuals occupied this territory in succession, somehow choosing to sing from the same thicket as their predecessors.
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