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I remember the story starts with someone interviewing an old alien, bird-like in appearance, on a space station.(?) The alien describes life on his home world as migratory, spending several years living in the city then trekking to a place in the country to live there for several years.

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  • Hi, welcome to SF&F! In case you might be able to remember any additional details, you should check out the suggestions for story-identification questions and edit in anything else you recall. Do you remember when you read this? Any of the other stories in the collection?
    – DavidW
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 19:00
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    There are several different series called "the year's best science fiction". Can you narrow it down to a decade and/or editor? Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 23:14

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This sounds like one of my favorite Ursula K. Le Guin stories, "The Seasons of the Ansarac", which appeared in Cramer and Hartwell's Year's Best SF 8. You can read it online at The Infinite Matrix.

The interview takes place on an island, not a space station:

I talked for a long time once with an old Ansar. I met him at his Interplanary Hostel, which is on a large island far out in the Great Western Ocean, well away from the migratory routes of the Ansarac.

The Ansarac are a humanoid race with bird-like beaks:

There is an all-or-nothing quality about a beak that keeps the beaked face from being as expressive as those on which the nose and mouth are separated, but Kergemmeg's eyes and eyebrows revealed his feelings very clearly. Old he might be, but he was a passionate man.

One Ansarac year is about 24 Earth years long, and the entire population migrates annually between the equatorial cities and the countryside of the planet's northern continent:

From time immemorial, he said, the Ansarac had followed a Way. Madan, he called it. [...] The year begins, Kergemmeg said, when, in the cities of the plains and deserts of the South, the Year Priests give the word and great crowds gather to see the sun pause at the peak of a Tower or stab through a Target with an arrow of light at dawn: the moment of solstice. Now increasing heat will parch the southern grasslands and prairies of wild grain, and in the long dry season the rivers will run low and the wells of the city will go dry. Spring follows the sun northward, melting snow from those far hills, brightening valleys with green. . . And the Ansarac will follow the sun.

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  • If I remember correctly, the narrator actually meets this character at a holiday resort, not on a space station.
    – Karst
    Commented Jan 17, 2021 at 19:26

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