Every spring and fall, billions of birds embark on their incredible journeys, typically under the cover of night. This year, a whopping 261 million birds are anticipated to migrate south.
Andrew Farnsworth, a senior research associate at the Center for Avian Population Studies within the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, shared that this peak migration season will bring a diverse array of bird species to the country, including warblers, sparrows, thrushes, and hawks.
“We’re in for a spectacular display of various bird species during this migration,” Farnsworth remarked. “It’s an exciting time for birdwatchers.“
Farnsworth emphasizes the critical role of bird migration in maintaining ecosystem balance. Birds help control insect populations, pollinate plants, and serve as a vital link in the food chain, acting as prey for other wildlife.
“Birds are ecological superheroes,” Farnsworth stressed. “They contribute significantly to maintaining healthy ecosystems.”
However, the journey south is fraught with peril for these avian travelers. Throughout their migration, birds encounter threats like habitat loss, predators, and unfortunate collisions with buildings and vehicles.
“It’s an arduous journey for birds,” Farnsworth acknowledged. “Yet, it’s a necessary one.”
Fortunately, there are several ways people can support birds during migration. Planting native vegetation in yards provides birds with food and shelter. Avoiding the use of harmful pesticides and herbicides also protects our feathered friends.
Reducing bird-window collisions and vehicle accidents is another way to assist migrating birds. Applying bird-friendly decals on windows enhances their visibility to birds while slowing down in areas where birds frequently cross roads can prevent accidents.
By taking these simple steps, individuals can help ensure that birds complete their migration safely and reach their wintering grounds unharmed.