What are some examples of migratory birds

Migratory birds

In autumn you can see large flocks of birds moving south, as some species of birds only Summer Spend in Central Europe. Other birds only come that winter over from the north to us. There are also bird species that do all year Spend at the same location, others can only be found on the Transit observe.

Migratory and resident birds

Migratory birds are characterized by the fact that they fly from their breeding areas to their winter quarters and then back again every year. Birds that stay in the same place all year round are called resident birds. examples for Resident birds are magpies, great tits and jays.

Reasons for bird migration

The main reason for bird migration is that Food supply. For example, worms and insect eaters find no food in our climatic conditions in winter. Therefore, migratory birds fly to warm areas in the south in autumn and overwinter there. Examples of migratory birds that breed with us in summer and migrate south in winter are barn swallow, common swift, white stork, nightingale and cuckoo.

As Guest birds refers to migratory birds that occur in a certain area but do not breed in this area. That means they visit the area mainly for the food supply. Winter guests in Central Europe are migratory birds from the north. They come to us because they can find more food here in winter. A well-known winter guest is the rook, which comes to us from Russia in winter. Further examples of winter guests are the bean goose, the mountain finch and the black-headed gull.

In addition, we can observe birds in Austria that are only passing through here (they are referred to as Migrants). They rest with us on the way to their summer or winter quarters. Examples of migrants in Central Europe are the gray goose and the little gull.

By Climate changes there can also be changes in the food supply, which is why there are bird species that do not migrate every year or have changed their migratory behavior (they used to move south and now stay with us through the winter).

Train routes

The migratory birds are classified according to the length of their path to their winter quarters. Short-haul migrants usually do not move further than kilometers from their breeding area. Long-distance migrant fly over kilometers until they arrive at their winter quarters. The arctic tern even covers kilometers to get from the North Pole to the South Pole!

The following map shows European migratory birds. Few migratory birds always fly the same route. Most choose different routes to the south, but they prefer a route over land (and thus avoid the route over the open sea).

This is an example of a short-haul mover robin. Some robins stay with us in winter, but many hibernate from October to March in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, because these birds mainly feed on worms, insects and spiders and during this period they can get better food in the south. Robins that stay with us over the winter feed mainly on food that we humans provide them in bird feeders.

The White stork is an example of a long-distance migrant. White storks fly to different areas in Africa. Birds that fly to South Africa take up to 15 weeks to get to their destination. The Barn swallow feeds on flying insects and therefore winters in Central and South Africa.

Flight behavior

Some birds like white storks migrate during the day, but others at nightwho have favourited the song thrush. Few birds like the cuckoo migrate alone, most fly in one group. The common bird migration offers the birds protection (from predators) and support, as the bird at the top gives the direction and some flight regulations make it easier to fly. There are species of birds that are disordered in one swarm fly (starlings and swallows). If the birds form a certain order in the air, one speaks of one Flight formation. Ducks fly in one Chain or one line, Swans arrange themselves in one Season on, wild geese make one wedge (V formation).

In the Wedge formation the bird at the top gives the direction. Due to the air vortices that a bird creates with its wings (one speaks of a wake vortex), the bird flying behind it receives lift and thus saves energy. Since the lead bird cannot benefit from this principle, it is repeatedly replaced so that it can recover.

How do migratory birds orient themselves?

The research examines what birds orientate themselves on when migrating. Depending on their migratory behavior, some bird species use the for this Position of the sun, other the starry sky. Orientation towards the earth's magnetic field (one speaks of Magnetic sense) was shown in some birds by researchers. Robins' magnetic sense seems to be in their right eye. Birds use too Landmarks in the landscape like rivers, lakes, mountains, valleys and coasts to orientate yourself. There is also evidence that some birds use man-made points in the landscape (highways) for orientation. The lighting of people can also disturb migratory birds in their orientation. The negative influence of nocturnal lighting on living beings is called Light pollution. It has been found that birds that migrate at night are less able to orientate themselves due to very bright lighting and that some birds can even fly into the brightly lit buildings and injure themselves in the process.