It’s March Migration Madness. That’s right: birds. And if you’re just tuning in, the first round — “the Tweet 16″ — is history, and we’re one game into the second — “the Airborne 8.” There is already a lot of buzz about the cedar waxwing, that flashy wild card that upset the top-seeded red-tailed hawk in round one. It was quite a blow to raptor fans.
“A lot of people are saying the cedar waxwing could go all the way,” said Hugh Powell, science editor for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which is hosting the tourney. He is a little pleased. As a co-creator of the game, Powell selected the cedar waxwing as a wild card entry, and he seemed gratified by its success. “I do have a soft spot for the cedar waxwing.”
To millions of Americans, March means only basketball. Sweaty bodies in peak form showcasing some of the finest feats of our species. But for millions of others, it means migration. The birds are back! They’ve spent the winter getting fat in Florida or Mexico or Argentina. They’re sporting their full colors. And they’re hungry.