How many times have we looked up at the blue sky and wished to fly like those winged birds? Birds remind us of a sense of freedom and joy that we all direly need in our lives. Thus, they are a symbol of freedom and matter to us whether we realize it or not. They are an integral part of our environment and biodiversity. Different birds require different living conditions and have different migration patterns. Many of the beautiful birds migrate to India in winters in search of food and shelter.
Most Beautiful Migratory Birds
There is a notable decline in species of migratory birds in the past few decades according to The State of India’s Birds 2020 report. These beautiful little creatures make their annual journeys in search of nesting, warmth, breeding to various destinations. They navigate with the help of nature. They follow rivers, coastlines, and mountains to reach their final destination. These birds face many problems throughout their journey and the ordeals seem to be only increasing with time.
Top 10 Most Beautiful Migratory Birds
The birds which travel to different parts of the world from their own countries in search of warm weather, food, shelter, and breeding conditions are known as migratory birds. They have to go through unfavourable conditions just to reach their destination. Many of these birds are going extinct because of the huge set of dangers they face along the way. The most prominent danger is the loss of habitat. Rapid loss of spaces makes them bereft of their habitat.
Here is a list of 10 most beautiful migratory birds that you will find migrating across the world.
1. Asiatic Sparrow-Hawk
This is a small bird of prey as compared to larger ones like the eagles. These birds are usually found in forests and during the winters they travel to India and Myanmar. They travel to India for almost 4-6 months. It is major predator of woodland small birds.
The three harriers namely, The Pale Harrier, the Marsh Harrier, and the Pied Harrier are birds of prey that make their way to India during the winters. The common places that they can be found in are Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, the Ernakulum District of Kerala, Saurashtra in Gujarat and many parts of Rajasthan including the Thar Desert. They come in droves to the Velavadar Blackbuck National Park in Gujarat.
3. Peregrine Falcon
These falcons can be found almost anywhere in the world. They are known for their speed. They can dive to speeds more than 200 mph when hunting and are the fastest birds on earth. Peregrine has been a very high prized bird amongst aristocrats across many ancient and modern empires and countries.
4. Siberian Crane
They are snowy white in colour and migrate to India during the winter season. These beautiful birds are omnivorous and breed in the Arctic tundra of Siberia and Russia. These critically endangered species were wintered in Bharatpur Keoladeo National Park till 2002.
5. Pacific Golden Plover
They are also known as waders. Pacific Golden Plovers feed on marine life such as molluscs, crustaceans, berries, seeds, leaves and also some insects. They are known to breed on extremely cold climates such as Alaska and Siberia. They fly in flocks to great distances to reach countries in Asia like India and Singapore in the winter season. They can fly from Alaska to Hawaii for 50 hours without breaks during their migration.
It is a small coloured passerine bird from thrush family and has 10 subspecies. These birds prefer to breed in very cold climates across the world such as Alaska. They migrate to the Indian subcontinent and many other nearby countries and continents. They shy away from visitors and hide in the thick vegetation but we can identify them when they are singing in full swing or flying in search of food. They can be spotted in the Keoladeo National Park of Bharatpur in Rajasthan.
These are tiny, cheerful and pretty creatures who come to India during the winter. Wagtail and their subspecies fly amongst cattle and many domesticated animals and congregate together afterwards. They are found in many parts of the world.
8. Eurasian Wigeon
They belong to the species of ducks and are recognised worldwide because of their russet colour and plumage. They feed on aquatic plants and grass found in the shallow waters and grassy areas. They have buffy crowns and white patches on their wings. They head for the waters as soon as they have hatched from eggs.
9. Greater Flamingo
These birds have an average height of 5 feet and can grow as much as 6 feet. It is the state bird of Gujarat. Their mating rituals are quite theatrical to watch at a distance. Greater flamingos are found in Southwest Europe, Southeast Asia and wetlands areas of Africa.
These are gregarious and noisy creatures who can adapt to living in the wild as much as they can adapt to living amongst human beings. They spend winters in India including Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Migration involves a wide range of ordeals and threats caused by human as well as natural activities. The threats that these birds face are as diverse as the activities of people in diverse countries. The migratory birds depend on a range of sites along their distribution area, stopover sites and the loss of wintering and these could impact the chances of survival of these birds. International cooperation is required among NGOs, governments and other stakeholders along with the entire flyaway. One global outtake on this situation is World Migratory Bird Day which has a global outreach and is effective in raising awareness of the threats faced by these little, beautiful creatures, their importance in the ecosystem, and the need to conserve them.