Migratory Birds: What You Should Know

Migratory birds are birds that fly far away to a warmer place each year. They spend the winter there. Migratory birds include storks, cranes, geese, and many other birds. Birds that spend the whole year more or less in the same place are called “sedentary birds”.

This change of location at different times of the year is very important to their survival and happens around the same time every year. They usually fly about the same way. This behavior is innate, that is, present from birth.

What types of migratory birds do we have?

From our point of view, there are two types: one type spends the summer with us and the winter in the south, where it is warmer. These are the actual migratory birds. The other species spend the summer in the far north and the winter with us because it is still warmer here than in the north. They are called “guest birds”.

So migratory birds live in Europe during the summer. These are, for example, individual species of storks, cuckoos, nightingales, swallows, cranes, and many others. They leave us in the fall and come back in the spring. Then it is pleasantly warm and the days are longer, which makes it easier for them to raise the young. There is enough food and not as many predators as in the south.

When winter comes here and the food supply becomes scarce, they move further south, mostly to Africa. It is much warmer there than here at this time. In order to survive these long journeys, migratory birds eat up fat pads beforehand.

The guest birds also tolerate lower temperatures. They, therefore, spend the summer in the north and give birth to their young there. In winter it gets too cold for them and they fly to us. Examples are the bean goose or the red-crested pochard. From their point of view, that’s in the south. It’s warmer there for them.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *