Birds begin migrating all around the world to return home around the onset of springs. They leave their winter homes and travel back to home yards. They migrate to find a suitable place to mate and build a nest for their offsprings according to weather and resources. Pay attention to your front yard this spring for new migratory birds species and happy chirps all season.
7 Fun Facts About Bird Migration
1. Hummingbirds – The Smallest Migratory Bird
Hummingbirds have an average weight of 1/8 of an ounce. They are the smallest migrating bird. They travel as fast as 48 kph while migrating. Their migratory path usually takes them across the Gulf of Mexico twice a year. They fly nonstop, to be as far as 600 miles. That’s a pretty long journey for a tiny bird!
2. Migrating Birds Travel Pretty Far
The birds in migration travel around 16,000 miles on average to reach their destination on time. Some travel at a speed of 30mph taking about 533 hours to reach their goal. On a par, if a bird travels 8 hours per day, it takes around 66 days to reach their migrating destination.
3. Some Migratory Birds Migrate At Higher Altitude
Many birds prefer relocating to an isolated location on higher elevation. Songbirds travel at a higher altitude of 800 to 3,000 feet above ground level. Vultures and geese are known to fly at altitudes as high as 32,000-39,000 feet above ground level. Some believe that birds travel at higher altitudes to conserve energy and reduce the flapping of the wings. They continuously move up and down the elevations to gain boosts of natural air pressure from changes of density or displacement.
4. Migratory Birds Know Their Destination
The migrating birds know how to navigate back home and reach their migrating destination. They use the sun, stars, and earth’s magnetism to help locate their way. Most of the time, they return home to where they were born safely. Because of this gifted instinct, it’s almost impossible for them to miss their way back. You could be right if you think you see the same bird each year around summers.
5. Birds Prepare For Their Journey
TO cover long drive back home they build up body fat to reserve energy. They fuel up themselves with certain foods and reserve half of their body weight. Next time you see a bird vigorously hunting for food before springs do help them fill up.
6. Different Species Migrate At Different Time
Contrary to popular belief many birds migrate during the night and feed during day time. At night the more relaxed surroundings eliminate the need to stop and cool down in the water. Besides at night hours, there are fewer predators due to lack of visibility. After all its more safe traveling when their predators are resting, increasing the chances of survivability. However, many birds like geese and cranes do prefer migrating during day hours and sleep at night.
7. Migratory Birds Face Several Threats
Birds migrate during fixed times of the day to avoid potential dangers and keep a tap over their body temperature and energy reserves. Their most significant risks to the migrating birds on their long journey home during the spring break include predators like hawks and owl. Many suffer dehydration, starvation, fall prey to oil drilling rigs in the ocean, power stations, windmills, and sudden climatic changes. All of the hazards are instinctually taken into consideration while traveling. However, the birds are never entirely safe during their journey.