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The best migratory birds in the World

One of the greatest wonders of the world is bird migration. This is nature’s way of showing us how similarly we are with the animals we relate with. Whether it’s for food, climate change, breeding or other resources, we share a common purpose for migration – for greener pastures. Whether it’s a short trek over water bodies or long arduous flights to escape endangerment, just like humans, these avian travelers undertake these long and arduous migrations in search of favorable breeding grounds, better feeding opportunities, or to escape harsh weather conditions. In this article, we will explore the world of the best migratory birds and highlight the ten largest species known for their impressive feats.

Best migratory birds in the World

Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea):

The Arctic Tern holds the record for the longest migration among birds, traveling an astonishing 44,000 miles round trip from its breeding grounds in the Arctic to its wintering grounds in Antarctica. For its size, the traveling feats are quite impressive. Even though they are originally from the Arctic circle, some of their population can be found in Massachusetts and England.

Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica):

The bar-tailed godwit is known for making one of the longest non-stop migration from New Zealand to Alaska, which covers a distance of approximately 7,000 miles without taking a break. In preparation for this journey, they bulk up by eating extra food which is stored as fat.

This journey takes about 7 days to complete with a short stop by the yellow sea. After their breeding season, they move on to Europe and Asia during the summer.

Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni):

Swainson’s hawk is another long distance migrant and has been recognised as one of the raptor that undertakes one of the longest migrations among North American birds, traveling from its breeding grounds in Canada and Alaska all the way down to Argentina and Brazil. This round trip covers a total of 12,000 miles.

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus):

These elegant pink birds are known for their extensive migrations across Northern Africa during autumn and returning to Eurasia in spring. Their aim of this wide trip is to search for suitable wetland habitats where they can feed on algae and small crustaceans.

Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus):

The Whooper Swan not only flies long distances, it is renowned for its high altitude reaching up to 8,000 miles above sea level. It migrates between its breeding grounds in Iceland and northern Europe to wintering sites as far south as Britain and Ireland.

Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis):

Sandhill crane is North America’s tallest bird at almost 5 feet tall and a wingspan reaching up to 7 feet. Sandhill Cranes undertake impressive migrations across North America, with some populations traveling over 5,000 miles from their breeding areas to wintering sites. Even though endangered, they migrate individually or as a family to breed during summer in Canada and travel back to Arnsas during winter.

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia):

White Storks are famous for their long-distance migrations between Europe and Africa, with some individuals traveling over 6,000 miles each way.

Common Crane (Grus grus):

These majestic birds undertake extensive migrations across Europe and Asia, with some populations traveling as far as northern Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

Red Knot (Calidris canutus):

The Red Knot is a small shorebird that embarks on one of the longest migrations of any bird species, flying from its breeding grounds in the Arctic to its wintering areas in South America.

Gray-headed Albatross (Thalassarche chrysostoma):

As one of the largest seabirds, the Gray-headed Albatross undertakes impressive transoceanic migrations across the Southern Ocean, covering thousands of miles between its breeding colonies and foraging areas.

These ten migratory bird species showcase the incredible endurance and adaptability of avian travelers. The remarkable journeys of these animals serve as a reminder of the interconnectedness of ecosystems across continents and highlight the importance of preserving habitats along their migration routes.

Emmanuella Koughna

Born with an innate gift of storytelling, Koughna Emmanuella has engraved her name on the minds of her audience by seamlessly blending profound insights with captivating prose. Over the course of four years, each of her work has been a testament of mastery of language and an ability to plumb the depths of human emotion, weaving intricate tapestries that resonate with readers across the globe. In her free time, she volunteers with animal shelters in her locality where they cater to homeless pets and other animals who need care. She also enjoys traveling, reading, and karaoke.

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