Experiment of the Day: Bird Migration

During the cold winter months, you may wear a big winter coat, play inside more often, or even eat different foods. We change our habits and adapt to the changes of weather, and animals do the same! There are different species of birds that travel from cold northern locations to warmer locations further south during winter months, this is called migration. Birds will migrate to find more abundant food and better weather!

There are a few types of migration patterns that birds take. Some birds are called obligate migrants, meaning that the timing of travel is dictated by instinct. No matter the weather condition, obligate migrant birds will fly south, because they are “obligated” to spend the winter in the deep tropics of South America. Songbirds, raptors and shorebirds are all obligate migrants.

The other type of migrating birds is facultative. Facultative migrants make their migrating decisions by the slight changes in weather and begin to migrate once the weather dips below a certain point. Unlike obligate birds which travel to the southern tip of South America, facultative birds migrate shorter distances, often staying within the United States.  Ducks, geese, swans, cranes, orioles, and warblers are all facultative migrants.

If you enjoy spending time outdoors, bird watching might be a fun new hobby for you! You can spend all four seasons observing birds, and you may even see non-native birds on their yearly migrations!  Pick up a pair of binoculars, and utilize an online bird seeing tracker! The eBird website allows you to find the name of species, photos, identification tools, and their specific calls and songs! Search the bird sightings in your local area at: https://ebird.org/home

High Touch High Tech has the perfect experiment to attract new, rare birds in your yard! Build your own bird feeder and see our recommendations for the type of seed to attract new birds! Visit our Bird Migration experiment at: https://sciencemadefun.net/downloads/bird_migration.pdf

Check out our bird feeder on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6oy1LIL_f8&t=2s