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MIGRATION

 

Flock of Black Kites (Milvus migrans). Photo: Francisco J. Cazalla


 
The migration of birds is a seasonal movement, that is to say, the annual variation of the environmental conditions that allow them to find food or reproduce. All we know is that, at the end of the summer, many species leave large areas of Central and Northern Europe, and the high mountains of the Mediterranean region, giving rise to a continuous movement of birds to their wintering areas. They leave the sites where they reproduced because, with the arrival of the winter, the hours of light are greatly reduced, the atmosphere becomes colder and their food supply is diminished or becomes buried under ice or snow. What was a lush and productive countryside during the spring and summer, ideal for the raising young, now becomes an uninhabitable wilderness. The retreating to less harsh areas is not, nevertheless, a haphazard one. It
forms a vital cycle that takes them to more hospitable areas sometimes in distant regions. Many birds, for example, come to Southern Europe to take advantage of the excellent ecological conditions of the Mediterranean region, where the arrival of autumn rains eliminates the restrictions imposed by the summer drought. They are therefore in an atmosphere where, within the area of the Strait of Gibraltar, that has
triggered the growth of grassy banks and pastures; and where the activity of invertebrates appears again in these wet areas, and even those flooded; and where many trees and shrubs have begun to fruit (Tellería 1,988). Something similar happens in Trans-Saharan Africa, where the arrival of European migrants coincides with the appearance of seasonal rains at the end of the southern winter (Moreau 1,972).

 

Video of a Short-toed eagle crossing the Strait of Gibraltar

El Latido del Bosque, the first film produced in Spain by National Geographic Society, wroten by Fernando López-Mirones and Joaquín Gutiérrez Acha.

 

 

 

 

Grupo Ornitológico del Estrecho
Apartado de correos 351

11300 La Línea de la Concepción, Cádiz. Spain

www.grupoornitologicodelestrecho.org