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[music]
Hi there.
I was just looking at my Texas Coastal Birding Trail map.
Did you know that the Texas coast is one of the hot spots
for birding in the whole country?
Every year, hundreds of millions of birds
migrate through Texas.
And if you stop to think about it,
migration is one of the real mysteries of nature.
For example, the ruby-throated hummingbird may fly
600 miles, 26 hours, non-stop across the Gulf of Mexico
and end up in the same place each year.
How do they stay on course and manage such long flights?
Some studies have shown that hummingbirds and hawks
travel by day, using the sun, rivers, mountain ranges
and coastlines to guide them.
Songbirds migrate by night,
using the stars and the earth’s magnetic field as a compass.
Now how birds sense this magnetism is still a mystery.
Possibly it’s the tiny mineral crystals in their heads
that help them navigate.
Making these long journeys is dangerous.
Less than half the birds that start out make it back.
So birds have developed different adaptations
to help them navigate.
Some birds wait for tailwinds
and select the best altitude to help them fly.
Hawks hop thermals to save energy.
They fly in an upward spiral
on warm wind tunnels called “thermals.”
Once at the top, they glide to the next thermal.
Geese fly in a V-shape to reduce wind resistance
on the flock.
Songbirds depend on cooler evening temperatures
to prevent overheating.
And hummingbirds almost double their weight
with stores of fat to provide energy for their long flight.
Migrating birds depend on good habitat all along the way
to rest and eat.
People from all over the world gather at these prime
birdwatching areas.
It's a keen reminder that we must maintain good habitat,
especially wetlands, for both resident and migrating birds.
We still have a lot to learn about the mystery
of bird migration.
Hey, maybe calling someone a birdbrain
is actually a compliment!
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Bird Migration - Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]

5686 Folder Collection
Mark Lin published on January 19, 2014
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