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Why birds migrate

Birds migrate for two main reasons:

  1. to find food
  2. to find a good place to raise a family.

With their superb flying ability, speed, hollow bones and excellent navigation skills, birds are properly equipped to travel thousands of miles.

This is good, as it gives them plenty of options in the search for food.

Which birds migrate?

Some birds, such as warblers, nightingales and yellow wagtails, spend spring and summer in the UK so they can breed, and then return to warmer climates for the winter months.

In the winter, our resident Blackbirds (pictured above) are joined by individuals from elsewhere in Europe, such as Russia, Poland and Germany.

Other birds including bramblings and many species of duck and swans travel to the UK over winter; this is because the ground is less frozen and they are likely to find more food.

Not all species of bird migrate however, there are some, such as BlueTitsChaffinchesRobins and Wrens, which can be found in UK gardens all year round.

Visit the British Trust for Ornithology’s (BTO) website for further details.

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