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Ornithology Exchange

Migration of Birds


Chris Merkord
  • Lincoln, Frederick C. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 1979

    Full text available following DOI. Republished in 1999.

    English , Nearctic, Neotropic, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Circular 16 01/01/1979 0160617014 9780160617010 No value No value 10.5962/bhl.title.25716

The changing picture of bird populations throughout the year intrigues those who are observant and who wish to know the source and destination of these birds. While many species of fish, mammals, and even insects undertake amazing migratory journeys, birds as a group are the most mobile creatures on Earth. Even humans with their many vehicles of locomotion do not equal some birds in mobility. No human population moves each year as far as from the Arctic to the Antarctic with subsequent return, yet Arctic Terns do. Birds are adapted in their body structure and physiology to life in the air. Their feathered wings and tails, bones, lungs and air sacs, and their metabolic abilities all contribute to this amazing faculty. These adaptations make it possible for birds to seek out environments most favorable to their needs at different times of the year. This results in the marvelous phenomenon we know as migration --the regular, recurrent, seasonal movement of populations from one geographic location to another and back again.




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