Every year, we get to see millions of birds literally fly half way across the world to other destinations, only to come back to their original home a few months later. And though we may not know it, not all the birds that make this perilous journey over unknown territories survive. But that doesn’t stop them in any way; which makes us think, ‘Why do birds migrate anyway?’ Here are some possible reasons why!
Searching for Meals
Food scarcity is considered to be one of the main reasons why birds migrate to other regions. And this can be witnessed more in winter when the food is very scarce and the decision to stay in the same area would probably make the birds starve. This is why these winged creatures move over to the north where regenerating food sources await them in spring. They stay there till fall until the food sources run out and then return back home where spring starts just then.
Different birds can exist in different climatic conditions. While some birds can only survive under sun tropical conditions, some birds would find it difficult to raise their chicks under very hot, arid conditions. These birds, therefore migrate further north which has a comparatively better climate, when the temperature in their region dips, or when they need to lay eggs.
Escape from Predators
Let’s take an imaginary scenario where birds don’t migrate at all and stick to their original homes throughout the year. With time, the food resources in these areas would dry out. In addition to this, the breeding season would make these areas potential hunting grounds of predators who would feed on the high concentration of eggs, nestlings,food sources, and the birds themselves.Birds that migrate could possibly avoid this scenario and give their nestlings a better, safer environment to grow in.
Escape from Deathly Diseases
Staying in the same place for extended periods would make the birds more vulnerable to local parasites, illnesses and diseases. Certain diseases can even wipe out entire colonies of birds in a short span of time. Migrating to other regions would therefore, enable the birds to stay away from these diseases and avoid passing on their infections to their nestlings or other birds in the colony. It may be considered as a cleansing period wherein the healthy birds migrate to remain disease free while the infected ones remain back to die.
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