World Migratory Bird Day: What You Probably Don’t Know About Birds’ Migration Globally

World Migratory Bird Day: What You Probably Don’t Know About Birds’ Migration Globally

By Samuel M. Chinwe

For life to continue and work out fine, change of location is necessary, same is one of the major characteristics of birds, from the great skydivers to the swimmers, migration is an important routine for birds in order for them to procreate, feed and explore. Today with lot of infrastructures and sometimes human carelessness, into the ways of these migrants, a perfect example is plastic which most of them ignorantly feed on.

This year’s World Migratory Bird day is themed Protect Birds: Be the solution to plastic pollution. We will be share with you fun facts on migratory birds and how our plastics are doing them no good.

There are different migrants which are:

Permanent residents: This set of birds maintains one location and find all supply needed year-in, year-out. Short-distance migrants: Birds like this probably journey along mountains not too far from the other. Medium-distance migrants: They make longer journeys that cuts across states within a nation Long-distance migrants: this are the great travelers, they don’t just beat across nations but also covers continents

At least 4,000 species of bird are regular migrants, which is about 40 percent of the total number of birds in the world.

D6IUXUoWsAE_5pD World Migratory Bird Day: What You Probably Don’t Know About Birds’ Migration Globally

A bird with piece of plastic

Tiny bits of plastic suspended in the water are thought to be mistaken for fish eggs, while plastic bags are often eaten in the belief that they are jellyfish.

D6IUXUoWsAE_5pD World Migratory Bird Day: What You Probably Don’t Know About Birds’ Migration Globally

An Osprey with catch

As deeply instinctive birds, ospreys are excellent hunters and, incredibly, make their first migration alone, knowing where to go without following their parents.

A theory, revealed in a documentary states that algae growing on the surface of the plastic gives off a smell that attracts fish and other sea creatures.

The Arctic tern has the longest migration of any bird in the world. These black-capped, red-billed birds can fly more than 49,700 miles in a year, making a round trip between their breeding grounds in the Arctic and the Antarctic, where they spend their winters. The lucky bird gets to see two summers a year!

D6IUXUoWsAE_5pD World Migratory Bird Day: What You Probably Don’t Know About Birds’ Migration Globally

Sea birds are at higher risk of consuming plastics and sometimes gets trapped in these things.

Even birds that don’t fly migrate. Emus, the large Australian birds, often travel for miles on foot to find food, and many populations of penguins migrate by swimming.

The spark of migration is between spring and fall, but on a normal this tends to happen everyday of the year. On major migrations dating and time on depends on the birds species,weather, travel distance/speed and many more.

Birds tends to enter a state called hyperphagia, where their hormone aids them to store adequate fat for the journey ahead.

Apart from the physical complications these plastics inflicts of birds, plastic chemical tends to affect birds’ hormones.

Speaking of long distances, the northern wheatear travels up to 9,000 miles each way between the Arctic and Africa, giving it one of the largest ranges of any songbird. What makes this an amazing feat is that the tiny bird weighs less than an ounce, on average.

Over the Arctic tern’s lifespan of more than 30 years, the flights of migration can add up to the equiv

D6IUXUoWsAE_5pD World Migratory Bird Day: What You Probably Don’t Know About Birds’ Migration Globally

A Northern wheatear perching on a chunk of wood

ent of three trips to the moon and back.

The population of mutton birds has dropped by 30 per cent in the last 40 years. It’s feared more species will be affected if the plastics problem isn’t turned around.

People who pets migrant birds in cages have come to notice that each spring and fall, these birds do remain restless, navigating from one part of the cage to the other.

Zugunruhe is a behavioural name meaning migratory restlessness named by German’s behavioral scientists.

D6IUXUoWsAE_5pD World Migratory Bird Day: What You Probably Don’t Know About Birds’ Migration Globally

Carcass of an albatross filled with pieces of plastics. photo by: Flickr

An aduItAlbatross can regurgitate these plastics but the chicks will have to bears the consequences of their swallow.

First-year birds often make their very first migration on their own. Somehow they can find their winter home despite never having seen it before, and return the following spring to where they were born. Isn’t that awesome?!

The bird with the record for the highest altitude ever is the Ruppel’s griffon vulture, which collided with a plane at 37,000 feet (that’s seven miles!) in 1975 and was unfortunately sucked into its jet engine.

‘Research further shows that about 40 per cent of seabirds contain ingested plastic.’

In order to protects the location this birds have chosen to be their winter home scientists are currently use technics such as banding, satellite tracking, and a lightweight devices known as geolocators.

Shearwaters(Mutton Birds) also die in large numbers during their migration due to starvation, entanglement in ocean fishing nets, and oil spills.

D6IUXUoWsAE_5pD World Migratory Bird Day: What You Probably Don’t Know About Birds’ Migration Globally

The Great Snipe

The great snipe flies around 4,200 miles at speeds of up to 60mph! No other animal travels at such speeds for such long distances. Birds usually utilize tailwinds (winds blowing in the same direction they fly) to help them go faster, but the snipe’s speeds don’t seem to be a result of that. This is regarded of the fastest migrant.

The bar-tailed godwit can fly for nearly 7,000 miles without stopping, making it the bird with the longest recorded non-stop flight. During the eight-day journey, the bird doesn’t stop for food or rest, demonstrating jaw-dropping endurance.

The Albatross has a wingspan reaching up to 11 feet and can soar vast distances without flapping their wings. In fact, the Albatross can go years without even touching land, can live up to half a century and often pair with a single mate for their entire lifespan.

In the United States alone, up to one billion birds die each year from window collisions.  In 2012 ABC News reported that approximately seven million die from striking TV and radio towers in North America annually. Further analysis has clearly stated that  red static lights on towers has high level of attraction compare to beaming ones

The flesh footed shearwaters are thought to consume more plastic than any other marine animal. Often mistaking plastic objects floating in the sea for food, the aduItbirds pick them up and then feed them to their young,

On average every Albatross chick has between 30 and 40 pieces of jagged plastic in their stomachs before they are fully fledged Researchers working on Lord Howe Island, off the coast of Australia,

Around 40,000 birds migrate to Lord Howe Island each year to lay their eggs in burrows deep inside the rainforest.

 

D6IUXUoWsAE_5pD World Migratory Bird Day: What You Probably Don’t Know About Birds’ Migration Globally

Birds can reach great heights as they migrate. Bar-headed geese are the highest-flying migratory birds, regularly reaching altitudes of up to five and a half miles above sea level while flying over the Himalayas in India.

During a 2011 survey, one dead mutton bird had 274 pieces of plastic comprising 15 percent of its body weight.

 

  • D6IUXUoWsAE_5pD World Migratory Bird Day: What You Probably Don’t Know About Birds’ Migration Globally

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