A few months back, when we were facing the chill of the winters, I was roaming around in my college premises, when I saw a flock of birds flying over my head. I am a little of a bird watcher, and I had never seen such a flock ever before. After observing them for a moment, I thought that these birds didn’t seem to belong from local land. They seemed to have migrated from some other regions to the land and sky of Indian subcontinent. After observing these birds for sometime, a curiosity developed in my mind as to why there is a need for these birds to have a non stop flight of thousands of kilometres. I ran a search on this and what I came through was there was no one reason for this. Numerous reasons came to limelight, a few of which are discussed here.
Types of Migrations followed by birds:
Basically there are three types of bird migrants, depending on the distances covered by them when the season of the place where they reside changes.
- Short Distance Migrants : These are the birds that migrate to nearby regions, like migrating from top of the mountains to the bottom regions of the same mountain.
- Medium Distance Migrants : These are the migrant birds that travel a tens of kilometres to reach a habitat that is suitable for them. They have a capability to adjust in a climate that has reached a level of low extremity, so can adjust in such conditions, Normally, they travel a few hundred kilometres, usually from one state to another,
- Long Distance Migrants : These are the migrants having maximised energy in them as they have to travel thousands of miles to reach a place suitable for their habitat for a few months of the year. They usually cross the borders of their country to reach another country. It is ironic that they don’t have to pay or buy a ticket to cross the border, otherwise our toursim industry would have been depending on them to fill their treasures.
Why do birds migrate:
Well that question asks for a little search and use of common sense. If you are living in a hot region, having extreme summers, where would you go when the heat wave strikes in? Its pretty much obvious that spending a vacation at a hill station would be our first preference, because it would be having a cooler climate. In the same manner, when the temperature of a region becomes unbearable, the birds get cut off from their diet, they plan to fly to a less extreme region, the process of which is termed as migration of birds.
- Climate : As already mentioned, birds can adjust in various climatic variations, but when the temperature of their region drops to sub zero level and they cannot survive in that temperature, they migrate to adjoining regions having adequate climatic conditions for their survival. In the same manner, the regions to the south of equator maybe unhealthy for chickens to lay eggs in summer time. So, they prefer migrating to northern regions for mating purposes.
- Meal : It is one of the foremost reasons as to why birds migrate to far off regions. They are unable to get their claws on the food they consume, so they migrate to adjoining regions where they can get ample food supplies for themselves and their families. After all, they also have to nurture their kids and make them capable of surviving on their own, so that they can carry on their family tradition to extreme heights.
- Predators : When you are attacked by someone, you are left with two choices. Either face them with all your heart and physique or just leave the region where threatening is being done. Birds prefer the latter option. It constitute one of the main reasons as to why birds migrate. When they feel a risk to their family or habitat, they prefer flying thousands of kilometres and reach a region, where they are the captains, and don’t fear an attack from their predators.
The process of migration to a bird is inseparable. Almost all birds undergo the process of migration atleast once in their lifetime. Some bird species migrate too often that they switch their habitat twice each year. Migratory Birds can bring with them, diseases like Bird Flu, which can be spread to local birds and can cause risk to their life, but the cases of migratory birds spreading some diseases are extremely rare. The migration of birds is so often that various state governments of India have built special parks, where humans are not allowed, and are specially meant for these birds. Not only in India, but also in various other countries, these measures have been taken by the government and nature preservatives for the survival of birds and providing them, a natural and fruitful habitat for their survival. These birds lay their eggs in these countries, raise their kids, teach them their lifestyle, and migrate back to their native places when the temperature of these regions go out of control. Whatever the case is, these birds are always welcome by every nation on mother Earth.