Bird Migration 2018

Bird Migration 2018

The regular movement of birds and wildlife from one part of the world to another and back again - is one of the wonders of the natural world.

Migration occurs when birds travel long distances often from one continent to another in search of warmer weather and food. In Britain most migrating birds arrive in the spring and stay here until the late autumn…… but there are exceptions to this rule!

Preparing to migrate!

Each year, at the same time, glands in a bird’s body release special chemicals called hormones into its system.  These hormones make birds behave differently. The hormones start a period of non-stop feeding as each migrating bird builds up its fat reserves.

The fat forms a layer beneath the bird’s skin which is turned into energy as the bird flies. Smaller species of birds can gain 3-4 per cent of their body weight in a day. Once the migrants are loaded with food and ready to go, they wait for the weather to get warmer. A spell of calm weather with clear skies is usually the signal.

Did you know? Some birds migrating from Africa and Eastern Europe will travel between 6000 and 11000 kilometres before they reach the United Kingdom? 

Bird Migration Teaching and Learning resources

Why do some species of birds migrate?  How long does it take for some birds to migrate and reach the United Kingdom? What dangers do birds face when flying long distances?

If you are seeking answers to these and other questions then please click and download our set of super migration resources for young learners.

RSPB Migration Game Lesson Plan                        RSPB Migration Game Map

RSPB Migration Game Cards                                     RSPB Migration Game Hazard Cards

Migration Flight of the Cranes Activity Pack

Migration Flight of the Cranes Teacher’s Notes

Marwell Zoo Migration Board Game

Migration Miracle: The Long Distance flier: Rufa Red Knot


Bird Migration Web Links

World Migratory Day – In the Americas Resources

RSPB Dangers of Migration – A Swallows Tale

BBC iWonder: Why is Britain a wildlife migration hotspot?

BBC SpringWatch - Winter bird migration






About the Author:

Phil Bracegirdle

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