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16 Interesting Facts About Migratory Birds

During seasonal migrations, migratory birds cover great distances, while they always find their destination accurately, and then return home with exactly the same accuracy. Mother Nature created perfectly prepared them for such difficulties, and what people cannot do is quite within the reach of the birds. In addition, thanks to seasonal flights, scientists have learned a lot about the world of birds.

  • Some of them make their flights alone, but most birds migrate as part of a flock.
  • Migratory birds usually fly either at night or during the day, depending on their habitual lifestyle. But some of their species are able to fly for days and nights without a break, falling asleep right in flight, and occasionally being distracted by the search for food.
  • Migratory birds, such as geese and ducks, fly in the form of a wedge because such a formation helps them to reduce energy costs for flight by about 20% – nobody canceled aerodynamics.
  • Geese during seasonal migrations rise higher than any other bird. They were spotted at an altitude of 9.1 kilometers, which is higher than the summit of Everest, the highest peak on Earth.
  • People have noticed the migration of migratory birds since ancient times. The first written mention of this is found in the writings of Aristotle, dating back to the 3rd century BC.
  • The most significant distance is usually covered by migratory petrels. They sometimes fly up to 25 thousand kilometers per year. In second place are terns, which cover up to 22 thousand kilometers.
  • Migratory birds miraculously return exactly to their nests, easily finding them again after a long journey.
  • Before migrations, most birds actively gain weight, since they need fat reserves as a source of energy. Some species of ducks, for example, almost double their weight before the flight.
  • During their life, some species of migratory birds cover a distance of 300-350 thousand kilometers, which is comparable to the distance from the Earth to the Moon.
  • Swifts are among the fastest migratory birds. In their flights, they accelerate to 150-160 kilometers per hour. Ducks, for example, usually fly at a speed of 100-110 kilometers per hour, which is also, you see, a lot.
  • The reason why migratory birds do not stay in warm regions forever but return back is very prosaic – food supplies there are not endless. When they come to an end, the birds gather on their way back.
  • Penguins also belong to migratory birds, but since they cannot swim, they make their migrations by swimming.
  • Migratory birds always fly faster on their way back, returning from warm lands, than on the way there. Why – scientists are still lost in conjecture.
  • Migratory birds are guided by the sun, stars, and the earth’s magnetic field.
  • Sometimes birds of the same species behave differently. For example, with the arrival of winter, a part of blue jays can fly away for wintering, and some of their relatives remain in place.
  • Depending on the habitat conditions, the same birds can be both migratory and sedentary. If there is enough food, they do not have to fly away for the winter.

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