Pelicans at Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, California
© David McNew/Getty Image
'Tis the season for travel. World Migratory Bird Day
The migration of birds, such as the pelicans seen here over California's Salton Sea, is part of the pulse of our planet's ecosystem. Around 40% of bird species migrate, typically in the fall and spring, and some of their feats of travel are astounding—tiny hummingbirds can migrate across the Gulf of Mexico overnight, a distance of 800 kilometres. Arctic terns travel between the Arctic and Antarctic annually and can travel over 2.4 million kilometres during their lifespan. The bar-tailed godwit can travel 11,200 kilometres in eight days without stopping. On World Migratory Bird Day, we can help our feathered friends by protecting their habitats and taking simple steps like leaving less lights on at night, leaving out birdseed, and making windows more visible to avoid collisions.