Migratory birds living their best life during the coronavirus pandemic

On May 9, the World Migratory Bird Day celebrated the life and conservation efforts of a diverse group of birds, including species such as the huge white stork, the tiny hummingbird, and even penguins. Around 20% of all bird species migrate to find food and breed. These migratory birds are however increasingly under menace, namely due to the loss of habitats caused by human activities. Plastic pollution and climate change, among other issues. Yet, with humans under lockdown, they might have recently caught a break. Here are some good news to celebrate the 2020 edition of this special day with.

Happy like a Turkish bird

In Turkey, migratory birds are truly benefiting from the lockdown imposed to control the coronavirus. According to experts, they feel more comfortable flying around with less human activity and fewer planes in the sky. The country is the bridge to over 400 species of migratory birds. Read more on Hurriyet Daily News.

A pair of white storks.

Catching a break in Pakistan

Every year, millions of migratory birds take a rest in Pakistan on their way back home. There, thousands are hunted down or locked away to be sold by hunters and poachers. According to this AA article,  they’ve been having an easier time flying back this year with the lockdown.

A group of wild gooses migrating

Extra nights at the sanctuaries

In this Asianet Newsable piece, you can discover how many migratory birds have now extended their stay, feeling safer with the considerable drop in human activities at the Therthangal and Melaselvanoor-Keelaselvanoor bird sanctuaries in India.

Did You Know?

  • Around 20% of all bird species migrate to find food and breed. The most common pattern sees birds flying north in March and April to breed, and returning to warmer regions in the south in September and October.
  • The longest distance some birds can migrate to is 90,000 kilometers. One of them is the Arctic Tern, who travels from pole to pole every year — from Greenland in the North to the Weddell Sea in the South.
  • The smallest migratory bird is the hummingbird. Some migrate across the Gulf of Mexico twice a year — as far as 600 miles without stopping.
A bee hummingbird, the smallest hummingbird in the world (only 5cm/ 2in long).

World Migratory Bird Day was a great opportunity to learn more on those fascinating animals and how resilient they can be. You can discover more interesting facts on the WWF website and pledge your voice for the planet.


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