|BSB directory||BSB Education||BSB lectures||BSB Mission||Patient Earth|
On BSB web pages we just try to give you a glimpse.|
There is much more to know. Send us an email!
Bird Migration Definition:|
Cyclic or periodic travel of birds, mostly done annually and linked to seasons, daylight, temperatures, returning hopefully to their original place of departure.
When an area has a balanced climate birds often stay and do not migrate.
When an area has a severe climate, a great amount of birds are migrating.
In the United states about 2/3 of all birds migrate, some short distances, some very long distances.
Birds that migrate have learned to build up fat as an energy resource.
Birds often return to the same locality where they were born, even this trip is thousands of miles long.
Birds can navigate very well using various guiding factors, as topographic landmarks, mountains, rivers, vegetation zones.
Birds have a compass sense. They are able to fly in a particular constant direction. Birds have a sensitivity to the intensity, and direction of the earth's magnetic field.
Birds use the sun's angle during the day.
At night birds use the stars to determine their direction.
Don't try to do that in your car at night!!
Birders have different explanations
why birds migrate:
A) Birds migrate to areas
where food is more abundant
B) Birds migrate because there is
less competition for nesting space.
C) Birds migrate to get away
from colder climate.
D) Birds migrate because they need
longer daylight hours to find food.
When adequate food is not available
throughout the year, birds fly to a place
with better food supply.
Winter with snow and ice is dangerous
to birds, so many migrate for warmer weather.
Areas with Spring weather + growth,
with many flowers and insects
are good places for birds.
Migrating to Spring areas makes sense,
helping birds to raise their young ones.
As you can see on all these
Bird Migration maps,
birds follow specific routes, often quite well-defined + often over very long distances.
Along shorelines, or along rivers,
we can see the main routes of migration.
North to South in fall/autumn
South to North in Spring.
Geographic factors, ecological conditions
and meteorological conditions determine such routes.
The majority of migrants travels along broad airways.
Wind and weather can variate the flight path, which is sometimes 500 to 600 miles long.
American Golden-Plover early March to late April
Chimney Swift late March to late April
Ruby-throated Hummingbird late March to mid May
Purple Martin mid February to early March
Barn Swallow early March to early April
Northern Parula early March to mid April
Black-throated Green Warbler late March to early May
Yellow-throated Warbler early March to mid April
Black-and-white Warbler early March to late April
Hudsonian Godwit mid April to the beginning of May
Buff-breasted Sandpiper mid April to the beginning of May
Yellow-billed Cuckoo mid April to mid May
Golden-winged Warbler mid April to the beginning of May
Cerulean Warbler mid April to the beginning of May
Olive-sided Flycatcher early to late May
Eastern Wood-Pewee late April to mid May
"Traill's" Flycatcher early to late May
Magnolia Warbler late April to mid May
Blackburnian Warbler late April to mid May
Bay-breasted Warbler late April to mid May
Beginning of March the first Sandhill Crane - Antigone canadensis
flew over BSB Nature Preserve.
A few days later another group of about 200 Sandhill Cranes came from the South flying North.
Sandhill Cranes really look elegant, if you see them on a wet meadow, or if you see them in the air.
They have a tall, gray body, a crimson-cap and a wide wing span. They like to be together with other Sandhill Cranes.
Their distinctive rolling cries can be heard from miles away.
During mating time mates display to each other with exuberant but graceful dances.
Birds can fly really fast, often birds
fly even faster during migration.
During Spring migration birds often fly faster
than during the fall / autumn migration.
Over water the speed gets higher than over land.
Speeds up to 60 miles an hour were recorded
for the American Golden-Plover.
Common Loons are among the fastest birds at ~70 mph.
Flying over land gives birds the possibility
to rest and feed.
So where can we see migrating birds?|
Many birds fly at low altitudes during migration, but often to high to watch them closely.
Our small birds fly at night at 800-1600 feet.
Still difficult to watch, but in the daytime they fly often below 200 feet.
Also, there are some records:
The Bar-headed Goose has to fly over the Himalayas what brings it up to 29,500 feet above sea level.
Look at the area where the
Ruby-throated Hummingbird nests.
Canada in the North, down to the southern US.
In migration it flies down as far south as Panama.
Hummingbirds can fly nonstop
across the Gulf of Mexico.
Flycatchers can be found on similar routes.
Robins or grackles, winter in large flocks
in US-states along the Gulf of Mexico.
Tanagers + Bobolinks migrate through the eastern US,
pass Cuba, heading for southern Brazil,
Bolivia, and Argentina.
The bird with the longest migration flight is the Arctic Tern. It breeds in the northern most regions of Asia, Europe, + North America, but takes it winter vacation in the southern Pacific and Atlantic Ocean, close to Antarctica. That's a flight of ~11,000 miles.|
Some birds migrate flying during daytime, other birds fly only at night!
Most of the birds flying during the day are strong fliers, + hunters.
Pelicans, herons, birds of prey, hummingbirds, swifts, swallows and finches belong to this group.
Nighttime migrants include waterbirds, cuckoos, flycatchers, thrushes, warblers, orioles and buntings.
To fly during the night offers protection from predators. During the day they build up energy for their long-distance night flights.
Often we can see birds in groups during migration.
Birders call that gregarious.
Shorebirds + waterfowl often migrate together.
Migrating flocks will often show remarkable cohesion.
There are several reasons for traveling in groups:
It provides safety for individual birds;
predators have difficulties to pick out a specific victim.
And it helps to navigate, specially at night.
Geese, ducks, pelicans, and cranes are often seen flying in a 'V' formation.|
This formation provides less drag for most of the birds, when the front bird gets tired after a while, another leader takes over.
Human airplane pilots have learned that from our birds.
There are many risks for our migrating birds. When birds fly at night or in fog, collisions with tall structures, as radio towers, television towers, cell phones towers, often occur. |
Other human caused hazards for migrants are power lines and cables, which kill thousands of migrating birds during migration. The populations of many bird species have decreased severely over the last 100 years. An even great problem is habitat loss and degradation. Habitat needed for food and shelter in winter is disappearing in Latin America. Clearing of forestland and plowing of grassland for crops destroys the diverse habitat that is necessary for many species of birds to survive.
Less than half the birds that leave the nesting grounds in fall migration will return the following spring. Migration over water is one of the most hazardous times for birds, especially small songbirds. Millions of migrating birds perish at sea. These are often young birds or birds that are blown offshore or forced down by strong winds, hurricanes, and bad weather. Hunters kill about one fifth of the water fowl population and about 40 % are killed by predation, accidents, and environmental factors.
What do you think?|
Isn't it great what Mother Nature can do?
Mother Nature provides us with a huge variety of birds.
We need these birds for many reasons. Good business with good profits is one of them.
Contact us to learn more and update your Nature education!
BSB members help you to protect Nature!
Do you like to walk in a forest?
Imagine, a forest without birds...
The forest would not be healthy, if the birds don't balance the insect population!
Very good music was composed after listening to a beautiful song bird!
That's why it is important to protect Nature!
Nature Conservation protects plants, animals and humans!!
Work with us! Protect our birds!
Bear Springs Blossom Nature Conservation + Education online with BSB
|BSB Nature preserves - - Lectures - Keep-Earth-Beautiful - - Join BSB -|
Conservation Education CE is the only solution to give the majority of human beings a better life on Earth.|
Search BSB with your search phrase
Copyright Bear Springs Blossom Nature Conservation
International charitable nonprofit organization 501(c)(3) All rights reserved
Peter Bonenberger - volunteer + president
Marianne Bonenberger + director of education
BSBNCG POB 63295 Pipe Creek 78063 TX USA
Keep Earth beautiful
BSB tries to be as accurate as possible, but we are not responsible for broken or false links or misinterpretation
BSB was founded 2002 +
As a nonprofit organization, BSB is always grateful for donations in support of our mission.
Quiz about water
Human Body Quiz
Quiz about Blossoms
General Knowledge GK
Quiz about India
Famous Men Quiz
MAPS of EARTH
Maps of Earth
Maps of South America
Maps of North America
Map of Texas
Maps of Europe
Map of Asia
Maps of India
Maps of Europe
Map of Oceania
Maps of Africa -
Maps of Texas
Humans body Quiz
School lesson Teeth
School lesson organs
Can you see?
L. da Vinci
George Orwell's book 1984
- Why Earth has continents?
- Why Earth has earthquakes?
Maps of Earth
All about Earth
Climate Change Solutions
- Why is Earth sick?
Life on Earth
How keep Earth balanced?
BSB Information on Earth:|
- Astonishing photos from Earth
Earth from Space
Earth's solar system
Info about NASA
Robots in action
Keep Earth clean
Why Keep Earth
Life is endangered
Climate Change solutions
PH power of Hydrogen
Disposal electr. equipment
Backup Renewable Energy
School lesson Teeth
School lesson organs
School lesson Water cycle
Nature Education Topics
What can we do?
|Fair Use Notice|
All material on 1000+ BSB web-pages is intended to advance understanding of the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of Nature conservation. We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed an interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from our websites for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you are the owner of copyrighted material(s) appearing on this site, and wish it to be removed, please contact us directly.