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World Migratory Bird Day

On the 11th May 2024, we celebrate World Migratory Bird Day. We pay tribute to these amazing birds which travel enormous distances for many reasons - such as for food sources, breeding and nesting sites and in response to seasonal changes and climate change.

Arctic Tern
Arctic Tern

The most notable bird known for its 40,000 km (approx.) distance from pole to pole each year is the Arctic Tern!

From around September to November, this birds start their epic southward migration to their Antarctic wintering grounds. From December to March, the terns then spend their time in their wintering grounds in the Southern Ocean. After this, April marks the start of their migration to the summer breeding grounds in the Arctic and in May, they have have reached the equatorial latitudes, marking the midpoint of their return migration.

By June, they arrive in their northern breeding grounds and from July to August, they are busy with nesting and chick-rearing.

These birds migrate for a number of reasons, one being that the polar winters are too dark for the birds to hunt as they hunt by sight. They managed to solve this problem by following the sun - like a lot of migratory birds!

However, as climate change is becoming more extreme, many migratory birds such as Cuckoo's and Swift's are becoming less and less common in the UK.

The Cuckoo, known for its famous call, arrives around April time spending the summer in the UK. However, due to climate change, they have less food to sustain them over their travel over the Sahara.

Similarly, the Swift is known for the distinct forked tail shape, aerial acrobatics and their high-speed flights. According to research, Swift's have decreased in numbers due to loss in habitats and a decline in insect availability.

There is hope though! Extensive work carried out by charitable charities such as the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) help monitor birds and their populations, collect data on breeding success and lots more.

According to the RSPB, 20% of the worlds species of birds are regular migrants! Let's celebrate the avian success across the world!

Jose Kimburi

@JoseKimburi on Social Media.

Image Credits (Pixabay): Unknown


1 comment

1 comentário

Membro desconhecido
13 de mai.

Really well written! Very informative and interesting!

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