This research by Whydo is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission when you purchase through our links. Learn more


Why do birds fly south for the winter

Why do birds fly south for the winter

Migration is a seasonal movement seen in birds of different species. It refers to the amazing annual event in which birds fly from their living places to a completely new location at a particular time of the year and then return to their nests when it’s time to breed.

Birds usually find their way to the southern part of the world during the winter. Researchers have long been trying to know what actually fetches these flocks of birds to that particular region every year around this time of year. As per their findings, there are more than a few reasons lying behind the occurrence and they make use of a range of navigation techniques when it comes to migrating. Here are the details:

  • Scarcity of food is the primary reason for the migration of birds. In winter, plants dry up and most of the insects become inactive. As a result, it becomes difficult for birds to find foods to live on. So, they fly to the comparatively warmer southern part of the globe in order to replenish their food stocks.
  • According to scientists, birds simply follow their instinct when it comes to finding food during winter. That is why they fly south and not any other direction. It is termed as ‘migratory reflex’ by the experts. When the daylight hours start to decrease, birds can realize that winter is approaching. In other words, the daylight hours serve the purpose of a signal to birds. As an innate response to this comprehension, they begin to fly south.

The magnetic field of the earth as well as their own navigational skills help birds reach their destinations during the winter. Therefore, they can easily navigate through the air and reach the otherwise unknown locations in south.

Written by:
Editor-in-Chief and lead author at WhyDo