Migratory Birds Information

Migratory Birds Information
There is no need for birds to stay in one place all year, although some do. Other species of birds might migrate locally, while many others migrate thousands of miles to find their spring breeding grounds or winter home.

Local Migrations

Some birds might migrate a short distance or undertake vertical migrations if they live in a mountainous location.


Spring and Fall

Many birds, including warblers and shorebirds, make long migrations in the spring and fall. In the spring, the birds travel to their breeding areas. In the fall, they travel to their wintering grounds. These places can be thousands of miles apart.

Out to Sea

Some birds go out to sea after the young have been reared. Most notable in this category are puffins, which travel from their nesting colonies to the open water, where they form large "rafts" of birds.


The long-distance fliers tend to travel in concentrated areas, often called flyways. These flyways are paths through the sky that are traveled by many species. Across the United States, there are four or five major flyways where birds congregate on their northern and southern journeys.

Night Navigation

No one is quite sure how bird navigation works, but the long-distance fliers usually travel at night at high elevations. The bright lights of large urban areas can disorient the birds and cause them to fly in the wrong direction or even into the light source.


Article Written By Henri Bauholz

Henri Bauholz is a professional writer covering a variety of topics, including hiking, camping, foreign travel and nature. He has written travel articles for several online publications and his travels have taken him all over the world, from Mexico to Latin America and across the Atlantic to Europe.

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