Bird migration is the movement of the birds from one location to another location along a flyway. Aristotle was the first personality to write about this remarkable fact of bird migration. Birds?follow a yearly cycle and return to its original place after a particular duration. They fly over long distances of about thousands of kilometers in search of the best ecological condition to favor their lives, feeding, breeding and to raise their young. The primary aim of migration is to take advantage of the longer days of the northern summer for breeding and to feed their young and to avoid harsh winters. There are lot of influencing factors that influence birds to migrate from one place to another like the climatic changes, rainfall, scarcity of food, competition for safe nesting places etc.HOW DO BIRDS IDENTIFY THEIR FLYWAY It is quite surprising fact to know that birds have remarkable memories and good pattern recognition. Birds use different ways to help them in navigating across miles. They navigate with the help of the celestial navigation where they keep in track of the phases of the moon, the sun’s arc and its ultraviolet ray emission, or the patterns of the stars. They also use landmarks like the mountains, rivers, coastlines, etc to guide their flyway. Birds also use the earth?s magnetic field in their migration. They have the ability to measure the angle of the earth?s magnetic lines and the gravitation at different places they travel. This helps them in returning back to their native after some duration, faithfully and accurately.Millions of birds annually travel between their nesting sites in the northern hemisphere and their wintering ground in the southern hemisphere. Migrating birds can also be classified based on the distance they migrate. They are
WHEN DO THEY MIGRATE?
Migrating?birds start on a journey when they feel that they have put on enough fat to provide them energy throughout the journey. Birds are both diurnal and nocturnal migrants. They migrate both during day and nights. Larger birds migrate during the day-time and smaller ones prefer night-times. Few examples of the diurnal migrants include the pelicans, storks, wildfowl, swifts, etc. Birds like the cuckoo, fly catchers, buntings, orioles, etc are nocturnal migrants. WHY INDIA? There are over 100 species of migratory birds visiting India in search of food, to protect themselves from adverse climatic situations of their native habitat. The Indian subcontinent is an apt place for many species of birds to visit during the offset of the winter season. The weather conditions in India are completely favorable for these birds for migration. India witnesses lot of migratory birds throughout the year in all seasons. Researches prove that there are more number of birds visiting India during winter seasons than in the summer seasons.BIRD CONSERVATION?The dangers migratory birds face in different countries along migration routes vary immensely depending on political, economic and environmental situations, yet birds have no choice but to face the many dangers caused by humans as they fly from country to country. Further, the loss of just one of these important bird sites can endanger migratory birds that are shared by all countries along the flyway.That is why it is so important for governments, conservation organizations, scientists, and ordinary people around the world to work together to conserve migratory birds. The World Migratory Bird Day was started with a motive to conserve the migrating birds.The theme for 2014 is Destination Flyways: Migratory Birds and Tourism.