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NORTH

 

AMERICA

ATLANTIC

OCEAN

EQUATOR

SOUTH

 

PACIFIC

OCEAN

AMERICA

EQUATOR

  • Seabirds
  • Wading / Shorebirds
  • Birds of Prey
  • Waterfowl
  • Land Birds

Billions of Birds Migrate.Where Do They Go?

Migratory birds have made their thousand-mile flights for millennia, but we are just now learning to map their mesmerizing journeys.

The fall migration of a
Broad-winged hawk
Loading migration...

Flight Paths

Different types of birds take routes of widely varying lengths. Some round-trip migrations can be as long as 44,000 miles, equivalent to almost two round-the-world trips. Others are much shorter. Some birds even migrate on foot. Many cover thousands of miles and move back and forth between continents.

Migration Is Risky

To conserve energy, migrating birds often take direct—and dangerous—routes, which can expose them to storms, predators, and disorientation from perilous navigation conditions. Migrations that cut across deserts or open water are especially risky.

On rare occasions, a storm front or band of rain intersects the birds, killing thousands and forcing an entire sky full of them to stop at the first land they encounter. Birdwatchers revel in these events (known as fallouts). Colorful warblers, orioles, and tanagers decorate every bush and provide eye-level views as they forage ravenously to recover from the difficult flight.

Human activity over the past century has increased the hazards. Habitat loss, pesticides, and hunting or trapping on stopover grounds have taken major tolls on migrating birds. The bright lights of cities can be particularly disorienting to migrant birds, many of which fly at night, resulting in fatal collisions with buildings and radio towers.

But It’s Rewarding

The reward for all these risks is that migration allows birds to follow food resources around the planet. The arrival of fresh spring leaves—or leaf out—sweeps in a green wave from low to high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. The leaves recede in autumn.

Most bird migration in this hemisphere is closely tied to this green wave, which brings an abundance of insects, especially caterpillars. The plentiful fodder fuels a busy season of singing, defending territory, and mating. Birds are able to raise their young and fatten up before the return southward.

Seven Species, Seven Strategies

Roughly half of the world’s bird species migrate. Out of that multitude, these seven illustrate the variety of paths that birds can take during migration in the Western Hemisphere—evoking the waves of birds that flow over and around us with each passing season.

Wood Thrush

Hylocichla mustelina

Wood Thrush

  • Hylocichla mustelina
  • Land Bird
  • 7.1 - 8.5 in
  • Night
  • Land Bird
  • 7.1 - 8.5 in
  • Night

Eastern Neotropical Migrant

The song of the wood thrush is one of the most iconic sounds of eastern hardwood forests in the United States and southern Canada. As an insectivorous forest bird, its northward movements closely follow the green wave. But the destruction and fragmentation of forests has led to a decline in its population.

The wood thrush belongs to a suite of birds known as neotropical migrants. Eastern neotropical migrants breed in Canada and the eastern U.S.; they migrate east of the Rocky Mountains. Western species breed and migrate from the Rockies to the west coast. Eastern species have longer migrations, fueled in part by their insect-rich breeding grounds.

Birds observed within an hour at 7 a.m.
    of
    ai2html_wood_thrushAppalachianMts.

    CANADA

    UNITED STATES

    Gulf of

    Mexico

    Gulf of

    Mexico

    Yucatán

    Peninsula

    Yucatán

    Peninsula

    MEXICO

    BELIZE

    BELIZE

    BELIZE

    HONDURAS

    HONDURAS

    HONDURAS

    GUATEMALA

    GUATEMALA

    GUATEMALA

    NICARAGUA

    NICARAGUA

    NICARAGUA

    EL SALVADOR

    EL SALVADOR

    EL SALVADOR

    COSTA RICA

    COSTA RICA

    COSTA RICA

    PANAMA

    PANAMA

    PANAMA

    • Yucatán Winters

      Neotropical migrants, including the wood thrush, overwinter in the New World tropics.

    • Gulf Crossing

      Wood thrushes save energy with shortcuts across the Gulf of Mexico. This is a risky flight, but consistent tailwinds make it efficient—as long as a surprise rainstorm doesn’t interfere. The flight usually takes less than a day. If all goes well, most of the birds fly directly to inland forests in the southern Appalachians or central Alabama.

    • Summer in the States

      By late May the entire population of wood thrushes has vacated tropical wintering areas and are at their breeding grounds. This is typical for most neotropical migrants: The population completely shifts between winter and summer.

    • Ready to Return

      In late September the earliest migrants arrive back at their wintering grounds, while most of the population remains in the north. Over the next month, the rest of the thrush population will fatten up and head south across the Gulf of Mexico.

    • Complete the Cycle

      By mid-November wood thrushes have followed the green wave back south to their wintering grounds, which cover a much smaller range than the breeding areas. With the birds packed into this smaller region, the species is even more vulnerable to habitat loss in the tropics than in northern breeding areas.

    Birds observed within an hour at 7 a.m.

    About These Animations

    These animations are based on models of bird abundance for the Western Hemisphere created by experts at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The models incorporate satellite information on habitats as well as data from eBird, a free online citizen science project that collects birdwatchers’ observations of species around the world. We animated these models to visualize a representative year of breeding, migration, and wintering.

    Western Tanager

    Piranga ludoviciana

    Western Tanager

    • Piranga ludoviciana
    • Land Bird
    • 6.3 - 7.5 in
    • Night
    • Land Bird
    • 6.3 - 7.5 in
    • Night

    Western Neotropical Migrant

    Male western tanagers are a striking riot of color, lighting up western pine forests with their bright yellow-and-black bodies and the reddish wash on their heads.

    These songbirds winter on the Pacific slope of Middle America, from western Mexico to the drier Pacific forests of Costa Rica. These drier forests match the western forests of the United States, where the birds breed.

    Birds observed within an hour at 7 a.m.
      of
      ai2html_western_tanager

      CANADA

      CANADA

      CANADA

      Lewis and Clark

      National Forest

      Wash.

      Oreg.

      Black Hills

      Black Hills

      National

      Forest

      Great Salt Lake

      Sierra

      National

      Forest

      Denver

      Calif.

      Los

      Angeles

      UNITED STATES

      UNITED STATES

      UNITED STATES

      UNITED STATES

      UNITED STATES

      UNITED STATES

      Salton Sea

      MEXICO

      MEXICO

      MEXICO

      MEXICO

      MEXICO

      MEXICO

      HONDURAS

      Caribbean Sea

      HONDURAS

      GUATEMALA

      GUATEMALA

      NICARAGUA

      EL SALVADOR

      EL SALVADOR

      NICARAGUA

      Pacific

      OCEAN

      • Wave in the West

        As with most neotropical migrants, the western tanager follows the wave of greenery north from its wintering grounds. Areas along the Pacific warm up and “green up” earlier than on the East Coast. Tanagers push into California, Oregon, and Washington as early as April.

      • Climbing Northward

        Over the month that follows, higher and drier climates in the western interior release winter's grip and begin to leaf out. Western tanagers can be seen streaming through deserts and mountain passes and stopping off at oases and city parks to drink and refuel.

      • Summer Breeding

        In mid-June western tanagers are focused on breeding, which they do in forests across the West, including areas where only the high mountains are moist enough to support woods. Many of the forests dry out as the summer gets hotter, and food and water becomes scarce.

      • Second Wave

        In what is called a “molt migration,” some tanagers leave dried-out breeding areas to pursue the secondary “green wave” created by monsoon rains in the southwestern deserts. The rich insect food available there allows the birds to molt a new set of body feathers. The tanagers will need these fresh feathers for the next leg of their migration.

      • Fall Migration

        By late September fall migration is under way, with the first birds arriving at their wintering grounds.

      • Completing the Cycle

        Migration is complete by late October or early November, with western tanagers and other western neotropical migrants filling in the drier Pacific slope forests of Central America, while wood thrushes and other eastern neotropical migrants populate the more humid Caribbean slope forests.

      Birds observed within an hour at 7 a.m.

      About These Animations

      These animations are based on models of bird abundance for the Western Hemisphere created by experts at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The models incorporate satellite information on habitats as well as data from eBird, a free online citizen science project that collects birdwatchers’ observations of species around the world. We animated these models to visualize a representative year of breeding, migration, and wintering.

      White-throated Sparrow

      Zonotrichia albicollis

      White-throated Sparrow

      • Zonotrichia albicollis
      • Land Bird
      • 5.9 - 6.7 in
      • Night
      • Land Bird
      • 5.9 - 6.7 in
      • Night

      North American Migrant

      The white-throated sparrow is a familiar eastern bird. Its sweet whistled song hints at its breeding area, often carrying the mnemonic, “Oh sweet Canada Canada Canada.”

      Unlike neotropical migrants, white-throated sparrows and similar species migrate shorter distances within the temperate zone. These birds can shift their diets from protein-rich insects in the summer months to seeds or fruits during the winter. They are regular visitors to winter bird feeders in the eastern United States.

      Birds observed within an hour at 7 a.m.
        of
        ai2html_white-throated_sparrow

        CANADA

        Adirondack

        Mountains

        Adirondack

        Mountains

        UNITED STATES

        MEXICO

        • Snow Avoidance

          The winter range of the white-throated sparrow covers most of the eastern United States south of areas that receive regular heavy snowfall.

        • Northward Bound

          Although they winter farther north than neotropical migrants like the wood thrush, white-throated sparrows migrate at the same time, following the green wave. Their entire population departs its winter areas in April and May.

        • Mutually Exclusive Territory

          Breeding and wintering grounds may be just a few hundred miles apart. The Adirondack Mountains in northeastern New York, for example, are an important breeding area for white-throated sparrows, but the birds skirt the region in winter.

        • Leapfrog

          Studies of short-distance migrants have revealed that, in many cases, those breeding at the southern edge of the breeding range spend the winter in more northerly areas, while those breeding farther north leapfrog over the other birds and winter farther south. (This is not readily seen on these maps but has been borne out in many studies.)

        Birds observed within an hour at 7 a.m.

        About These Animations

        These animations are based on models of bird abundance for the Western Hemisphere created by experts at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The models incorporate satellite information on habitats as well as data from eBird, a free online citizen science project that collects birdwatchers’ observations of species around the world. We animated these models to visualize a representative year of breeding, migration, and wintering.

        Magnolia Warbler

        Setophaga magnolia

        Magnolia Warbler

        • Setophaga magnolia
        • Land Bird
        • 5.1 in
        • Night
        • Land Bird
        • 5.1 in
        • Night

        Nocturnal Migrant

        The magnolia warbler is an eastern neotropical migrant. It breeds in northern evergreen forests across Canada, as well as higher elevations in the Northeast and Appalachians. Despite its name, it is much more associated with spruce trees than magnolia trees.

        Like most small songbirds—including the white-throated sparrow, western tanager, and wood thrush—the magnolia warbler is primarily a nocturnal migrant. These migrations show up on weather radar. Artificial lights are proving to be a major hazard to these species, since the city lights attract birds, placing them at risk for collisions with man-made structures and interfering with their navigational systems.

        Birds observed within an hour at 7 a.m.
          of
          ai2html_magnolia_warblerAreaofBorealForest

          CANADA

          Detroit

          UNITED STATES

          Chicago

          New York

          Washington, D.C.

          St. Louis

          Dallas

          Atlanta

          Houston

          Gulf of

          Mexico

          Gulf of

          Mexico

          Yucatán

          Peninsula

          Yucatán

          Peninsula

          CUBA

          CUBA

          MEXICO

          HONDURAS

          HONDURAS

          GUATEMALA

          GUATEMALA

          NICARAGUA

          NICARAGUA

          EL SALVADOR

          EL SALVADOR

          COSTA RICA

          COSTA RICA

          PANAMA

          PANAMA

          • Mexican Winters

            The magnolia warbler overwinters from eastern Mexico to southern Central America. It is abundant in the Maya forest of the Yucatán Peninsula, a critical area for many species.

          • Night Flight

            The magnolia warbler embarks on an overnight flight across the Gulf of Mexico that lasts until at least the afternoon of the following day. A few of the more tired birds stop off on the immediate Gulf Coast to rest and refuel. The concentrating effect of urban lights leads some of these birds to stop in city parks. Efforts to reduce artificial light are helping birds, according to a study of the annual Tribute in Light memorial to 9/11 in New York City.

          • Boreal Forest Summers

            The magnolia warbler’s summer breeding range covers most of the boreal forest of Canada as well as the evergreen forests of the Northeastern U.S. The boreal forest, which remains largely intact, supports three billion to five billion birds. Even so, it is increasingly at risk from development and exploitation for natural resources like gas and oil.

          • Coastal Stops

            Healthy forest habitats in coastal areas—especially scrubby thickets and live oak cheniers—are very important for migrating birds because it’s where they rest before and after crossing the Gulf of Mexico, and where they return if they encounter difficult conditions over the water.

          • Winter Compression

            By early November magnolia warblers are back at their wintering grounds. The entire population packs into a winter area that is just a tenth the size of the broad swath of North America that makes up its breeding range. Acre for acre, loss of wintering habitat could harm 10 times more magnolia warblers than loss of breeding areas.

          Birds observed within an hour at 7 a.m.

          About These Animations

          These animations are based on models of bird abundance for the Western Hemisphere created by experts at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The models incorporate satellite information on habitats as well as data from eBird, a free online citizen science project that collects birdwatchers’ observations of species around the world. We animated these models to visualize a representative year of breeding, migration, and wintering.

          Fork-tailed Flycatcher

          Tyrannus savana

          Fork-tailed Flycatcher

          • Tyrannus savana
          • Land Bird
          • 11 - 16.9 in
          • Day
          • Land Bird
          • 11 - 16.9 in
          • Day

          Austral Migrant

          The fork-tailed flycatcher is one of the most distinctive birds on the planet. The male’s strikingly long tail makes him vulnerable to predators and less efficient in flight—and signals to females that he is strong enough to overcome those difficulties.

          A creature of the Southern Hemisphere, the fork-tailed flycatcher heads south for the austral summer. Millions of forktails undertake migrations of thousands of miles within South America. The movements of most austral (or southern) migrants are very poorly known, with the routes and primary wintering areas for many species only now being discovered.

          Although South America hosts more bird species than any other continent—3,381 species, or 32 percent of the birds in the world—the relative proportion of migrants is much lower than in North America. Scientists point to the shape of the continents and the amount of temperate landmass south of the tropics as the reason why. At latitudes greater than 30 degrees, North America has almost six times more landmass than South America—and three times more migratory species.

          Birds observed within an hour at 7 a.m.
            of
            ai2html_fork-tailed_flycatcher

            MEXICO

            BELIZE

            GUATEMALA

            Llanos

            NICARAGUA

            VENEZUELA

            VENEZUELA

            VENEZUELA

            PANAMA

            COLOMBIA

            Amazon

            Rain Forest

            Amazon

            Rain Forest

            ECUADOR

            BRAZIL

            BRAZIL

            SOUTH

            AMERICA

            Pantanal

            PARAGUAY

            URUGUAY

            URUGUAY

            Buenos

            Aires

            ARGENTINA

            ARGENTINA

            • Another Green World

              The seasons are reversed in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, but the green wave moves in the same direction at the same time in both hemispheres (north from February to March and south from August to November). So do the birds. In the spring (the austral fall), the flycatchers make a northward flight to western Amazonia.

            • Cross Continent

              The fork-tailed flycatchers travel north and east to the insect-rich marshes of northern Venezuela known as the Llanos.

            • Flying Clockwise

              The exact path of fork-tailed flycatchers was discovered within the past decade, when lightweight tracking devices were used to follow the trail of individuals nesting near Buenos Aires. They revealed a clockwise circuit of South America.

            • South for the Summer

              Although the Amazon rain forest is a rich area for bird diversity, fork-tailed flycatchers mostly fly right over it. Many prefer to stop in southern Brazil, where the grassy savannas provide good breeding habitat. Those heading further south to Paraguay or northern Argentina may pause to fuel up at the Pantanal wetlands in western Brazil.

            Birds observed within an hour at 7 a.m.

            About These Animations

            These animations are based on models of bird abundance for the Western Hemisphere created by experts at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The models incorporate satellite information on habitats as well as data from eBird, a free online citizen science project that collects birdwatchers’ observations of species around the world. We animated these models to visualize a representative year of breeding, migration, and wintering.

            Broad-winged Hawk

            Buteo platypterus

            Broad-winged Hawk

            • Buteo platypterus
            • Bird of Prey
            • 13.4 - 17.3 in
            • Day
            • Bird of Prey
            • 13.4 - 17.3 in
            • Day

            Soaring Migrant

            The broad-winged hawk is a forest hawk. These solitary birds hunt from perches inside forests, overwinter in Central and South America, and breed in northern forests from the Appalachians to central Canada. They are one of the few raptors that migrate south in large groups, covering amazing distances and taking advantage of rising air currents to aid their migration from Canada to South America.

            While most of the small land birds above migrate at night and flap nearly continuously on their migrations, larger, broad-winged species employ very different strategies. Facing little risk of predation, these birds travel by day to take advantage of natural patterns of rising air.

            Birds observed within an hour at 7 a.m.
              of
              ai2html_broad-winged_hawkAppalachianMts.SierraMadreOriental

              CANADA

              UNITED STATES

              UNITED STATES

              UNITED STATES

              UNITED STATES

              UNITED STATES

              UNITED STATES

              Florida

              MEXICO

              MEXICO

              MEXICO

              MEXICO

              MEXICO

              Veracruz

              Veracruz

              BELIZE

              BELIZE

              BELIZE

              BELIZE

              HONDURAS

              HONDURAS

              HONDURAS

              HONDURAS

              GUATEMALA

              GUATEMALA

              GUATEMALA

              GUATEMALA

              NICARAGUA

              NICARAGUA

              NICARAGUA

              NICARAGUA

              VENEZUELA

              EL SALVADOR

              EL SALVADOR

              EL SALVADOR

              EL SALVADOR

              COSTA RICA

              COSTA RICA

              COSTA RICA

              COSTA RICA

              COSTA RICA

              PANAMA

              PANAMA

              PANAMA

              PANAMA

              PANAMA

              COLOMBIA

              COLOMBIA

              COLOMBIA

              COLOMBIA

              COLOMBIA

              ECUADOR

              ECUADOR

              PERU

              • Over Land

                Broad-winged hawks stick to land during migration. Soaring birds that rely on rising air currents will avoid water crossings whenever possible.

              • Narrow Path

                Because broad-winged hawks fly over land, the continent's entire population funnels through narrow migration points in both spring and fall. In Veracruz, Mexico, over a million hawks can be counted in a single fall season; a single day in late September and early October could see counts of hundreds of thousands.

              • Low Effort

                Soaring birds move along ridges with north to south orientations, which get updrafts from westerly winds. Hawks can fly south for hours at a time without flapping their wings; the rising air provides the lift they need. Migration is all about minimizing the use of energy and covering ground in the right direction.

              • Avoiding Drift

                All birds, but especially soaring birds, risk drifting off course. When strong northwest winds occur in the fall, a number of hawks get blown close to the coast, where they fight hard to avoid sailing over the ocean.

              • Baby’s First Migration

                Younger birds are more at risk from this wind drift and also more likely to migrate late. For this reason immature birds tend to end up in coastal areas in October.

              • Trapped in Florida

                Each year some migrants down the East Coast end up spending the winter in the forests of southern Florida. These mostly young birds seem to get trapped by the water on three sides and the inhospitable cold to the north.

              Birds observed within an hour at 7 a.m.

              About These Animations

              These animations are based on models of bird abundance for the Western Hemisphere created by experts at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The models incorporate satellite information on habitats as well as data from eBird, a free online citizen science project that collects birdwatchers’ observations of species around the world. We animated these models to visualize a representative year of breeding, migration, and wintering.

              Greater Yellowlegs

              Tringa melanoleuca

              Greater Yellowlegs

              • Tringa melanoleuca
              • Shore and Wading Bird
              • 11.4 - 13 in
              • Night
              • Shore and Wading Bird
              • 11.4 - 13 in
              • Night

              Shorebirds

              Shorebirds often migrate very long distances. Although they are very efficient fliers, they need to rest and refuel for long jumps in their migrations. Greater yellowlegs forage on mudflats, flooded fields, salt marshes, and the margins of ponds, where they eat small invertebrates and fish. Since shorebirds migrate so far, having reliable stopover areas to rebuild fat reserves is important. Greater yellowlegs occur in small groups or flocks of up to several hundred birds.

              Birds observed within an hour at 7 a.m.
                of
                ai2html_greater_yellowlegsAreaofBorealForestAreaofBorealForest

                James Bay

                CANADA

                NORTH

                AMERICA

                Newfoundland

                UNITED STATES

                Central

                Valley

                Rainwater

                Basin

                ATLANTIC

                OCEAN

                ATLANTIC

                OCEAN

                Mississippi

                River

                Valley

                 

                Coastal

                Plain

                Guadeloupe

                Barbados

                SOUTH

                AMERICA

                 

                SOUTH

                AMERICA

                 

                ARGENTINA

                Pampas

                • Wet Winters

                  The winter range of greater yellowlegs spans most of the Western Hemisphere—or at least those areas where fresh water doesn’t freeze. They concentrate in places with lots of standing freshwater—the Pampas of Argentina, Texas' coastal plain, and California's Central Valley—or brackish marshes such as those along the U.S. East Coast or coastal Peru and Chile.

                • Follow the Water

                  By early March greater yellowlegs are moving up through the Midwestern United States, where frozen landscapes are melting and spring rains create wet fields, flooding rivers, and thawed ponds. Yellowlegs and other shorebirds fuel up along the Mississippi River Valley, Nebraska's Rainwater Basin, and other wet areas for the long flight to the boreal forest.

                • Yellowlegs in Plain Sight

                  Most shorebirds jump from one staging area to the next during their spring and fall migrations. Other species use this strategy too, but shorebirds are more obvious since they concentrate in small areas.

                • Population Split

                  In June most yellowlegs are in breeding grounds in central Canada, but a minority—the immature birds and those that are unhealthy—will stay in wintering grounds, such as coastal South America and the Atlantic coast of the U.S., for the duration of the summer. Research indicates that these oversummering birds have abnormally high parasite loads, which is one of the chief indicators of reduced health.

                • Breeding Season

                  Most shorebirds have just one chance to pull off a brood of young during the short period without frost in the Arctic and subarctic. Unsuccessful breeders return south early—with some yellowlegs heading south by late June. Yellowlegs in the east concentrate in the marshes and mudflats of James Bay, Canada, which is proving to be an important staging area for many species of shorebirds. They put on fat there for the long flight to South America.

                • Oceanic Flyways

                  The shortest route from the yellowlegs’ breeding grounds to their wintering grounds in eastern South America is straight out over the ocean. As strong fliers, the birds can handle this with sufficient fat reserves, but the trip is still risky. They fly during hurricane season and are vulnerable to hunters if they stop to rest at Caribbean islands such as Guadeloupe or Barbados.

                Birds observed within an hour at 7 a.m.

                About These Animations

                These animations are based on models of bird abundance for the Western Hemisphere created by experts at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The models incorporate satellite information on habitats as well as data from eBird, a free online citizen science project that collects birdwatchers’ observations of species around the world. We animated these models to visualize a representative year of breeding, migration, and wintering.

                This project was made possible with support from the National Geographic Society.

                Maps and graphics

                Brian T. Jacobs, NG Staff. Introductory satellite imagery: NOAA GOES-16, AWS Public Datasets. Broad-winged hawk data: Broad-winged Hawk Project, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association (both are animated from October 8-12, 2017). Migration flyways: Lauren E. James, Matthew W. Chwastyk, NG Staff. Sources: Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Birdlife International. Earth at night imagery: NASA Earth Observatory’s Black Marble. Vegetation animation: NOAA STAR (from January 2015-December 2016). Migration data from the eBird project were provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology; data modeling by Daniel Fink and Tom Auer, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. For these animations, “no data” has been conflated with “zero observations”; data does not model patterns over oceans. Western tanager illustration: Fernando G. Baptista, NG Staff

                Text

                Marshall Iliff, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Text editor: Rachel Shea, NG Staff

                Photography

                Photo editor: Danielle Amy, NG Staff. Sources: Wood thrush: Alan Murphy, BIA/Minden Pictures. Western tanager: Alan Murphy, BIA/Minden Pictures. White-throated sparrow: Gerrit Vyn, NPL. Magnolia warbler: Glenn Bartley, BIA/Minden Pictures. Fork-tailed flycatcher: Alan Murphy, BIA/Minden Pictures. Broad-winged hawk: Robin Chittenden, FLPA/Minden Pictures. Greater yellowlegs: Robert Royse, BIA/Minden Pictures

                Audio

                Wood thrush: Peter Paul Kellogg, Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab. Western tanager: Kevin J. Colver, Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab. White-throated sparrow: Arthur A. Allen, Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab. Magnolia warbler: Wilbur L. Hershberger, Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab. Fork-tailed flycatcher: Peter A. Hosner, Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab. Broad-winged hawk: Robert C. Stein, Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab. Greater yellowlegs: William R. Evans, Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab

                The Year of the Bird

                In 1918 Congress passed the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to protect birds from wanton killing. To celebrate the centennial, National Geographic is partnering with the National Audubon Society, BirdLife International, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to declare 2018 the Year of the Bird. Watch for more stories, maps, books, events, and social media content throughout the year.



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