Migratory birds are simply birds that travel across long distances at regular times during seasonal migrations. They fly fast but their long exhausting journeys are most often interrupted by the spell of bad weather and sometimes the need to feed and rest.
Recent experiments indicate that they move along the earth’s magnetic field via special light receptors located in their eyes. Most native bird species belong to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and are protected by regulation.
Some of these birds include;
Common Hawk cuckoos (Hierococcyx varius)
They are medium-sized cuckoos and they mostly reside in the Indian subcontinent. They are popularly referred to as the brain-fever bird with a distinctive yellow eye-ring. At first glance, you might mistake them for a hawk. They have similar styles of flying and landing on perch as the Shikra.
Their breeding season is always in summer- March to June. The males produce loud, recurrent three-note calls that are well-interpreted as brain fever. The second notes are usually longer and high pitched. The bird’s call increases in intensity and then stops. This is repeated after a few minutes and may continue throughout the day, well after dusk, and start again early before dawn.
A female cuckoo finds a suitable nest, one meant for the host birds, and lays a single egg there. She removes one of their eggs and replaces it with her egg when the host is not looking.
The young cuckoo hatches after 12 days and usually evicts the host’s egg out of the nest. After 19 days, it leaves the nest but is fed by foster parents (the host) for 2 more weeks.
These birds feed mainly on insects and with their specialized feeding ability, they feed on hairy caterpillars also.
Cuckoos spend the winter in Central Africa. During migration, they take a different route in Autumn where they stop off to rest and feed in Europe and Africa.
These tiny birds are known as the smallest long-distance migrant in the world. Although, they are tiny hummingbirds yet they travel more than 5000 miles each year in a big oval from the meadows and open forests high in chilled north Western mountains to pine-oak forests in Mexico and back again. Their metabolic rate increases 16 times the resting level while hovering.
They feed on the nectars of flowers and tiny insects. They also feed on the sugar-water mixtures in hummingbird feeders.
In spring they are mostly found in coastal regions while in the fall, they are mostly found in enclosed locations at higher elevation along rocky mountains.
They are also known as Duck hawks and are common in North America. They are the world’s most widespread raptor and one of the most common bird species. They have long pointed wings with a long tail. They often sit on high perches and take advantage of tall buildings, water towers, and cliffs as nest sites.
They are found almost everywhere on earth except extreme polar regions, tropical rainforest, and high mountains although they are absent in New Zealand. They breed inland regions from the Arctic tundra to the tropics.
They feed on medium-sized birds and are skillful at catching feral pigeons. They also feed on shorebirds, ducks and oftentimes than not, they feed on amphibians, lizards, larger insects.
About 40% of the world’s bird population migrate and this means that there are lots of birds on the move. Migration is primarily to enhance the several living conditions by moving to the most favorable areas.