Since the Coronavirus outbreak the aviation industry has seen thousands of flights cancelled and many planes grounded. However, some fliers still have journeys to make, and in this article we will be looking at the incredible migratory journey British birds make each year, how they do it and why!
But before we begin, here is some amazing news that the white-tailed Eagle has returned to the United Kingdom (Good old Yorkshire may I add- Gods Own Country) Read the story here http://www.yorkshirecoastnature.co.uk/blog/222/white-tailed-eagle-near-scarborough
! Its estimated that around 4000 different bird species are regular migrants, with many choosing the United Kingdom as their destination. No not for our excellent fish and chips, delightful sense of humor or fine ales, but for our warm wet climate causing a flurry of insects throughout the Summer. There are also far less predators in the U.K and less competition for nesting places. Many migrant birds travel enormous distances, such as the Swallow who flies an estimated 200 miles per day from South Africa to arrive back here in the U.K this April. But how do they do it?
A remarkable combination of factors comes into play from a set of unique abilities that birds possess. Firstly, they have the ability to detect the earths magnetic field (magnetoception) allowing them to determine direction and altitude along their journey. Secondly, another remarkable trait is the unique ability to build up mental maps from visual cues to help form landmark points along their journey. Finally, many birds all use the sun as a compass for navigation and guidance. When all these factors come into play a successful migration begin, without the use of a satnav! These incredible journeys really are one of natures wonders. So who can we expect to see arriving home again this Spring?
- Swallow (Hirundo rustica) - Flies in from: South Africa in April
- Swift (Apus Apus) - Flies in from Africa between April and May
- Cuckoo (Cuculus Canorus) - Flies in from Africa in May/June
- The turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur) - Flies in from: Sub-Saharan Africa in June
- Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) - Flies in from: Africa and South Africa in June
- House martin (Delichon urbicum) - Flies in from Africa in April
So have fun spotting these little fliers this Spring and Summer and record how many you see! We are soon looking to add bird seed to our online shop here at Signature Statues to help you attract these little wonders to your garden. We also have a huge array of Birdtables, nesting boxes, birdbaths to make a lovely home for your soon to be visitors. Providing shelter, water and food for these busy little builders will make your garden nicely populated this summer despite the lockdown.
Stay safe everyone and enjoy your gardening during the COVID19 outbreak!
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