How do gold nuggets weighing a few grams withstand such a difficult journey? How do black-tailed gods go to Africa? How do robins know when to leave? Lots of questions: There is no such thing as a bird migration center in the new episode of Podcast Early birds and other animals.
In this chapter, Annek Naufs (migratory) bird researcher Justin van Brugan and Montagu’s Harrier expert Almut Schlech travel through the fascinating world of migratory birds.
We call them ‘our migratory birds’, but in fact most species are only short-lived in the Netherlands. For example, Mockingbird is only here for a hundred days and Montagu’s Harrier is longer in Africa than in the Netherlands.
Birds that breed with us travel around the world. Bar-Wall Godwit, for example, flies to New Zealand in eleven days. 13,000 kilometers without stopping, sleeping or eating once. Even small wheat goes from Greenland, across the Netherlands, to Asia and Africa. But the champion is undoubtedly Arctic Tern: in a year A Dutch Arctic Turn with Transmitter Flew 90,000 miles. This is no less than twice as much around the world.
Find the way
Birds use all sorts of methods to find their way. For example, they follow characteristic points in the landscape, such as a highway or a beach. They use the sun and stars as a compass and are sensitive to the Earth’s magnetic field. Robin sees that field in his retina, for example.
In large groups or alone
As a bird, you can travel alone or join a group trip. Ducks always fly at each other. Loudly they pass in the usual V-formation. This form ensures low energy cost to fly. Montagu’s Harrier, on the other hand, flies by itself to Sakel. Even young birds of prey migrating south for the first time go alone. They are resting along the way (Morocco for example) and coming back together with the final destination.
Montagu’s Harrier expert Almut Schleich traveled with Montagu’s Harrier several times and visited the bird resting places and the final destination: ‘We saw birds from East Groningen. You really feel how far and how different it is. ‘
Almighty Schleich and Just von Brugen tell more about the amazing bird migration on the podcast in early birds and other animals. You can listen to the new episode every Friday Your favorite podcast app.
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