For birds that call the Northern Hemisphere home, migration season occurs twice every year: in the spring, from April to May, and in the fall, from mid-August to as late as December for certain species. It’s not just the temperature that drives birds to migrate, but also the search for food options and more abundant nesting.
Migration can be competitive among bird populations in order to get the best resources. The spring migration season tends to be a bit more urgent, with birds often competing for the best breeding areas. In the fall, migration is less urgent and takes place over a longer period of time than the spring migration season.
Birds migrate along four flyways: the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific flyways. Maryland lies within the Atlantic flyway, and is an important area for bird conservation. Maryland is the home to many Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA), which are identified as important conservation areas for bird populations, particularly during migration seasons. Species that can be found in IBAs in Maryland include ospreys, red knots, bald eagles, ruddy turnstones and Baltimore orioles.
One concern that rises with migration season is bird strikes, which are the cause of death for 1 billion birds in North America every year, including about 450 annually in Baltimore. Lights Out Baltimore recommends that all businesses turn off all non-essential lights at night and urges homeowners with trees near their homes move bird feeders 5 feet or closer to their homes.
To combat migratory bird strikes here at the National Aquarium, our dedicated team applied a bird-friendly film to one of our large glass walls and other select areas of our Australia building. Our team anticipates that this film will decrease bird strikes on our building and make our waterfront campus more bird friendly!
Learn more about bird strikes and what you can do to help!