By Margaret Magnus
During their annual migration, more than 300 species of birds are estimated to use the Pacific Flyway as their connection between the Arctic and South America, according to NASA Science. The flyway stretches from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean and includes all of California.
Every year, millions of migratory birds head south, then north, using the 4,000-mile-long and, in places, the 1,000-mile-wide route known in search of places to breed, feed, and spend the winter.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and its partners have identified four administrative Flyways (Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific) based largely on routes the birds follow as they migrate between nesting and wintering areas. The purpose is to facilitate management of migratory birds and their habitats.
“Some scientists believe migratory birds take they navigational cues from the sun, moon and stars. Others think they simply follow geographic landmarks like rivers and mountains,” writes Matt Dolkas for the Peninsula Open Space Trust. Regardless, these migratory birds consistently follow the same flight paths.
Not all of the migrating birds travel the entire Flyway. Most travel the leg of the journey that brings them into warmer temperatures that are closer to the equator.
When do birds migrate? In North America, the birds that migrate do so in the late summer though the fall and in the late winter through the spring. Migrations generally follow a north-south pathway, although a few bird species — namely oceanic birds — may migrate in a circular pattern.
Because it’s hard to provide exact dates when birds migrate, Perky-Pet® has developed a Bird Migration Timeline for fall and spring migrations.
According to Perky-Pet® some of the migrating birds in the Pacific Flyway include: American Crow, American Goldfinch, American Robin, American Tree Sparrow, Anna’s Hummingbird, Band-tailed Pigeon, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Bohemian Waxwing, Brewer’s Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird, Cassin’s Finch, Cedar Waxwing, Chipping Sparrow, Common Redpoll, Dark-eyed Junco, Evening Grosbeak, Fox Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Hermit Thrush, Hoary Redpoll, Lesser Goldfinch, Northern Flicker, Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Red-winged Blackbird, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Rufous Hummingbird, Song Sparrow, Varied Thrush, Western Meadowlark, White-crowned Sparrow, and Yellow-rumped Warbler.
Adele Fergusson from the Ventura Audubon Society had a recent bird-watching scouting trip to Meher Mount meeting with Robert Turnage and Kristina Somma. She reported the following in the March 2019 issue of "The California Condor": 
"We had a great morning birding and looking at the views. Because it was a clear day, we were able to see 5 islands, Santa Barbara, San Nicholas, Anacapa, Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa. There were many juncos, spotted towhees and other sparrows, oak titmouse, hawks and the highlight of the day was the white-throated swift."
The Ojai Valley, including Meher Mount is a bird enthusiast's delight. Pause a moment, and even the casual bird watcher can view the different species that find Meher Mount a welcome home or a good place to visit during migration on the Pacific Flyway.
BIRDER’S FIELD LIST, OJAI VALLEY, CA
Birds can be found on different levels of the territory they occupy. To help identify a bird, note whether it is hopping on the ground, perching on a low limb, or circling high overhead. Notice the physical outline, overall colors, and the shape of the tail, wings and bill, as well as how it is behaving. Happy bird watching!
BIRD WATCHING APPS
 “Bidding for the Benefits of Birds,” NASA Science: Share the Science, accessed online March 20, 2019.
 Erin Blakemore, “The amazing story of the Great Pacific Flyway and its migrating birds,” The Washington Post, November 5, 2017, accessed online March 20, 2019.
 “Flyways,” U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Migratory Bird Program, accessed online March 20, 2019.
 “When Do Birds Migrate?” Perky-Pet®, Woodstream Corporation, accessed online March 20, 2019. Article also gives guidelines on the the timing of bird migrations in North America.
 “Bird Migration: Birds of the Pacific Flyway,” Perky-Pet®, Woodstream Corporation, accessed online March 20, 2019. Article also gives tips on managing backyard bird feeders for various types of birds.
 “Notes from the Field…Adele Fergusson Meher Mount,” The California Condor, March 2019, Ventura Audubon Society, accessed online March 20, 2019.