fascinating migratory birds

the other day i did a presentation on bird migration for a seminar at university.
doing some research, i stumbled upon some astonishing strategies of bird-species – for example, the arctic tern (sterna paradisaea; küstenseeschwalbe):
it breeds in colonies in regions up to the arctic, and winters down in antarctica. within just three months these birds cover a distance of more than 20.000km! that’s half the earth’s circumference for one direction, and they migrate twice a year.
arctic terns experience both the northern and southern polar summers and thus enjoy a total 8 months of continuous daylight.

wikipedia info: [en] [de]

another interesting species is the willow warbler (phylloscopus trochilus; fitis).
it is one of 200 european songbirds that have to cross the sahara on their way to their wintering grounds in central africa. for 1.500 – 2.000km, this warbler doesn’t usually drink or eat anything.
when fat reserves run low, it starts using up to 50% of its intestinal tract for energy production – it basically burns its gut.

click here for a (german) article on the willow warbler and its sahara-crossing.

in the end it’s all about who can raise the most offspring…

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