Wildlife

Top 25 Migratory Wild Birds

Wild Bird Trust presents the Top 25 Migratory Wild Birds. Approximately 40% of the world’s birds migrate, which means there a lot of birds on the move! Migration is primarily a strategy to optimize living conditions by moving to areas which are warmer and have more food. Migrant birds can be especially difficult to conserve as different countries need to cooperate to ensure birds are conserved across their range. Birds are also vulnerable on flyways as they are often hunted en masse. If birds are conserved in their breeding habitat but their wintering habitat is degraded this makes it a sink for the population as a whole. This is why international agreements such as the Convention for the Conservation of Migratory Animals have been put in place- to foster cooperation between countries, allowing birds to be conserved with the big picture in mind.

We hope you enjoy our selection this week and we encourage you to submit image for next week’s Top 25- the theme will be announced on our Facebook page this weekend. You can also have a look at our Twitter and Instagram for regular bird updates!

The Black-tailed Godwit is listed as near-threatened due to various pressures on the population’s breeding grounds in central Eurasia and wintering grounds in Asia, Africa and Australia. These pressures include intensification of agriculture and degradation of wetlands (Asutosh Pal)
This Black-headed Bunting was photographed in its wintering range in Bosipota, India (Sujoy Sarkar)
In some migratory species there is variation in whether or not a population will migrate. For example Blue-tailed Bee-eaters in south-east Asia migrate south for the winter but Blue-tailed Bee-easters in Australasia do not migrate (Dr S Alagu Ganesh)
A White Stork photographed at the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania by Sharon Templin
There are no ringing records to document the migration of Brown-breasted Flycatchers but their distribution changing from south-east Asia in the summer, to India and Sri Linka in the winter, indicate that these birds do migrate (Vishwas Thakker)
Migration can be risky, as every now and then a bird will be blown off course and end up somewhere way out of their range. This happened recently to a Citrine Wagtail that was seen in Cape Town, South Africa, they normally overwinter in southern Asia! (Asutosh Pal)
Common Hawk-cuckoos are mainly resident across India but populations in the higher latitudes will migrate seasonally (Kanchan Das)
A Common Redshank foraging in a mangrove along the Zuari River, India (Kishore Reddy)
Eurasian Wrynecks breed in central Asia where they prefer woodland habitats, whereas they prefer more open habitats in their over-wintering ranges in Africa and southern Asia (Ravi Shankar)
A Great White Pelican off the coast of Namibia. Most pelicans just spend the winter in Africa but some of them have made it their home year round! (Suranjan Mukherjee)
Lesser Redpolls are called irruptive migrants, their migration patterns are irregular and unpredictable, their movements are usually in relation to where food is available (Edwin Godinho)
The Western Yellow Wagtail overwinters in India and Africa, in African savanas they are often associated with game animals (Bhargavi Gokarna)
The Loggerhead Shrike is migratory within North America. This bird is considered Near-threatened, the reasons for this are not clear but are thought to be linked to the introduction of the West Nile Virus in the late 90s (Jola Charlton)
Calliope Hummingbirds breed in north-western North America and spend the winter in Mexico. Ringing records show that these birds often return to the same sites, there is no place like home! (Tim Nicol)
A Eurasian Spoonbill foraging in the Dighal Wetlands, India (Vishesh Kamboj)
The Mountain Bulbul is what we call at altitudinal migrant, they move to lower altitudes in the winter to escape the cold (Deepak Sharma)
A Northern Harrier in its wintering range, in Fremont, California (Sutapa Karmakar)
A male Northern Shoveler in flight. This highly migratory species breeds in the northern latitudes in April and May (Vishesh Kamboj)
The Peregrine Falcon is one of the world’s most widespread raptors, in the higher latitudes these raptors will migrate south to find more favourable conditions (Nishant Vyas)
The Rainbow Bee-eater is native to Australia, they winter in Australasia and breed in southern Australia (Janis Otto)
The name Red Knot may seem a little confusing when looking at this grey wader. This bird undergoes an amazing transformation during the breeding season where there plumage changes to a deep rufous colour (Antonis Tsaknakis)
Sandhill Cranes breed in Alaska, Canada and Russia, migrating to wetlands and meadows of southern USA and Mexico for the winter (Leslie Reagan)
The Siberian Rubythroat breeds in the Taiga forests of Russia (Sujoy Sarkar)
This dainty little bird is a Snow Bunting, which breeds in the Arctic and over winters in central North America and Asia (Melissa Penta)
The Snowy Owl became well known because of the Harry Potter films which featured a Snowy Owl by the name of Hedwig (Sharon Templin)

 

Top 25 Wild Waterbirds

 

Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.

We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!

Edited by Christie Craig, Campaign Manager

Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to conserving Africa's wilderness areas and the species that depend upon them. After having worked as a camp manager and wilderness guide in the Okavango Delta and doing his PhD field work on the little-known Meyer's Parrot, Steve took up a position as a Centre of Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. He has since been appointed the Scientific Director of the Wild Bird Trust and is a 2014 TED Fellow. His work takes him all over Africa, but his day-to-day activities are committed to South Africa's endemic and Critically Endangered Cape Parrot (Poicephalus robustus). Based in Hogsback Village in the Eastern Cape (South Africa), Steve runs the Cape Parrot Project, which aims to stimulate positive change for the species through high-quality research and community-based conservation action. When not in Hogsback, Steve can be found in the Okavango Delta where he explores remote areas of this wetland wilderness on "mokoros" or dug-out canoes to study endangered bird species in areas that are otherwise inaccessible. Steve is a 2013 National Geographic Emerging Explorer for his work in the Okavango Delta and on the Cape Parrot Project.

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