A migratory bird is a bird that migrates to a place where it is not able to live and raise its offspring, and when the weather is favorable and then returns to a suitable environment. In other words, a bird that does not stay in one place all year round, sometimes wandering around, is called a migratory bird. It is also called migratory, visitor and exotic bird. These include Kamkut, Sindure Duck, Medium White Buckulla, Serpent Chill, Dubulki Bird, Karyangkurung, Flamingo, European Roller, Stork, Great Spotted Udpicker, Giant Brown Latocosero, Siberian Buckulla, Amur Eagle, White Wagtail, Kish. Eaters, spoon-built sandpipers, etc. are birds.
These birds often move from place to place to avoid the cold or the heat. Among the migratory birds, the Arctic tern travels more than 70,000 kilometers. It travels every year from Iceland to Antarctica and from Antarctica to Iceland.
The Great Sniper is the fastest migratory bird. It covers a distance of about 6,760 kilometers without rest. It can fly at a speed of 97 kilometers per hour. Similarly, the hummingbird is the smallest migratory bird. According to Word Life International, the little Rufus hummingbird roams up and down the South American continent, while the Arctic tern moves from one pole to another. According to the International, one out of every five birds is a migratory bird.
Migratory birds connect humans, ecosystems, nations, and the world as a whole. They are also a symbol of peace. Their epic journey inspires people of all ages around the world. They provide us with vital services. For example, seed distribution, pollination, pest control, etc. They are important not only for sustainable life on earth but also for providing economic benefits and employment through recreational activities such as tourism, research and education, bird watching and photography. Not only that, they are also central to our culture.
In addition, our art, music, theater, and faith systems have been reflected since ancient times. Migratory birds inspire us and help us stay in touch with one another and connect with nature. Birds have inspired people to build airplanes and helicopters. Migratory birds have been helping humans since ancient times.
In the past, information was exchanged with their help. Many tourists are fascinated by the colorful and captivating birds. Migratory birds are only temporary, so people are more inclined to look at them and capture them on their cameras. This greatly supports the tourism business.
According to National Geographic, migratory birds use the sun, moon, stars, landmarks and the Earth’s magnetic field to navigate and identify suitable locations. Landmark refers to mountains, rivers, beaches, etc. Connectivity and corridors are essential for migratory species. This allows them to move easily.
Migratory birds often move from place to place to avoid the cold, to breed, and to raise offspring. They have to face many challenges as they have to travel long distances during their migration. Due to such increasing urbanization, development work, etc., their traditional path is being obstructed.
This is creating problems for them to find their way, to find food, to find a place to rest, to breed, to raise children.
According to UNEP 2018, the number of migratory birds is declining by 40% and one out of every eight migratory birds is disappearing from the world. According to the Environment Program, the main reasons for the extinction of migratory birds are habitat loss and degradation, collisions with wind turbines and power lines, illegal killing and catching activities, etc. In addition, migratory birds are most affected by toxicity (highly toxic heavy metals used in swallowed lead, fishing and fishing scales). Wildlife (migratory birds) are also at high risk as hundreds of pieces of lead (glass) released from shotguns are widely spread in the atmosphere.
More than 350 species of migratory birds are endangered by various man-made structures. It is also seen to be a big threat to the birds that are active at night. A study has also shown that many birds die due to structures made of glass and other reflective objects. This is stated on the website of the World Migratory Bird Day.
On September 16, 2020, the BBC reported that about one million migratory birds had died in New Mexico from toxic fumes emitted from wildfires. The news that the United States and Canada have lost three billion birds in the last 50 years was made public by the BBC on September 19, 2019.
Research has shown that the number of winter birds coming to Nepal from different countries to survive the winter is decreasing. In the same way, if the destruction continues, the privilege of seeing the migratory birds will be lost in a few years.
Since they move from one country to another, from one geographical environment to another geographical environment, conserving them in one place or country alone cannot increase and conserve their numbers. In order to protect and preserve them, they must protect all the paths, countries and places in which they travel and live. For this, it is not enough to carry out conservation works at the local and national level, but also at the international level. For this, it is very important to raise public awareness about their importance and need in all communities.
We can arrange drinking and bathing water for bird conservation on our own. We can provide safe habitat, food that does not harm the birds. In addition, we can explain the importance and need of migratory birds to other people.
The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) have jointly initiated both exotic and regional initiatives for the conservation of migratory birds. CMS aims to conserve aquatic, terrestrial and bird migratory species.
(The author is a postgraduate researcher in Zoology.)