BirdLife Malta has launched the #onthemove campaign to encourage people to care about migrating birds.
During the campaign, which will run until the 16th October, bird migration will be explored and explained on BirdLife Malta’s social media platforms, sharing interesting facts and information on migratory birds and birdwatching hotspots, as well as activities and events to get involved in during this unique time of the year.
The #onthemove campaign focuses on three key elements:
ENJOY – Do you know why some birds fly in a V-shape and others in circles? Do all birds migrate? Throughout a wide range of online and in-the-field activities you will learn many interesting facts about bird migration and why Malta is such an important spot for the millions of birds that fly over it during autumn.
CARE – Migration routes are natural corridors for migratory birds which connect different habitats along their journey. Malta offers a unique location as a resting place during their long flight where birds stop to feed and rest. Caring for the environment and maintaining intact natural habitat is essential for birds to find the ideal conditions to refuel and rest before continuing their journey.
PROTECT – During migration, birds face different challenges and can encounter dangers that jeopardize their safety. From habitat loss and climate change, to the impacts of human activities such as indiscriminate hunting and trapping, birds are affected by hazards during their migratory journeys. With your help we can take action to combat threats and ensure their survival.
Why do birds migrate south in Autumn?
Autumn is an exciting time for birds. But why do they migrate south at this time of year? Birds don’t have a calendar but when temperatures get cooler and days become increasingly short, they know it’s time to move on. In the Northern Hemisphere, as winter approaches and the availability of insects and other food decreases, birds move south to find better environmental conditions.
After having spent their summer in Europe for breeding in a temperate climate, birds return to their winter homes in autumn looking for warmer regions in the south. The Maltese Islands are a perfect location for them to seek shelter along their journeys to Africa.
Over thousands of years, migratory birds have evolved complex migration strategies to adapt to changes in the climate, food availability and other factors. With rising temperatures, for example, and food and water being harder to find, some species are migrating a little earlier each year.
Have you seen a flock of birds migrating in a particular formation? Have you encountered birds finding refuge in an afforested area near you or even your garden? Did you notice anything particularly remarkable about them? Birdlife Malta would love to hear about your encounters with migrating birds. Click here to log your sightings.