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bird migration

Have you noticed the absolutely astounding and fascinating phenomenon happening outside these days? Yes, it is migration time with millions of birds traveling to their spring/summer homes in the northern hemisphere (or their fall/winter homes in the southern half of the world.

Right now is the best opportunity to see birds that are not common to your area. Listed below are a bunch of migration facts.

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  • Sighting (they don't call it a "bird's eye view" for nothing) features like rivers, coastlines, and mountain ranges.

  • Monitoring Earth's magnetic field, apparently with their visual system and with tiny grains of a mineral called magnetite in their heads

  • Observing the stars
  • Using the sun for guidance

  • Smell
  • And probably following their neighbors (many birds migrate in large flocks)

    The arctic tern flies a phenomenal round trip that can be as long as 20,000 miles per year, from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back. Other sea birds also make astounding journeys: the long-tailed jaeger flies 5,000 to 9,000 miles in each direction.The sandhill and whooping cranes are both capable of migrating as far as 2.500 miles per year, and the barn swallow more than 6,000 miles.

    Why do some birds go north for the summer?
    Because there's more to eat. The 24-hour days near the Arctic Circle produces a fantastic flowering of life. This brief, but abundant, source of food attracts many birds (and mammals such as the caribou) to the Arctic for breeding purposes.

    What influences migration patterns over the long term?
    Changes in climate (particularly ice ages), and shifts in the positions of islands and continents as a result of tectonic drift.

    How do they keep going?
    Some birds store a special, high-energy fat before the trip. Soaring raptors, for example, may not eat for several weeks as they migrate. Other species eat along their migration routes.

    How high can they fly?
    Higher than Mt. Everest. Bar-headed geese have been recorded flying across the Himalayas at 29,000 feet. Other species seen above 20,000 feet include the whooper swan, the bar-tailed godwit, and the mallard duck.
    (Note: birds don't fly this high just to get in the Guinness book of records, but rather to reach their destinations efficiently. From radar studies, scientists know that birds can change altitudes to find the best wind conditions. To fight a headwind, most birds stay low, where ridges, trees and buildings slow the wind. To ride a tailwind, they get up high where the wind is as fast as possible.)

    From the whyfiles.org

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    Still looking for Directory of bird migration, try starting back at our homepage.
    birds news

       March and April


    Biscayne National Underwater Park Inc. the concessionaire for Biscayne National Park in Homestead, Florida, is
    for the first time in itís history now taking reservations for boat trips to the offshore islands in Biscayne National Park, for the sole purpose of bird watching.

               Birding Events

       August 20-22


    It's amazing how time flies! Yet with approximately 3 months to go, we are already starting to plan for this year' s British Birdwatching Fair. So make a note in your diary now and don't forget to come and visit us on our stand.

               Birding Events


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