The first flight comes in October, when the weather in New York and Michigan turns cold.
By Christmas, 22,000 snowbirds have made the trek to Citrus County, their winter home.
They are an economic and cultural force in Citrus County — filling restaurants, church pews, RV campgrounds and civic clubs. Business owners love them, hiring more employees or assigning overtime to handle the influx. Others are less enamored, counting the days until their departure.