Each fall, we hold a Migration Celebration to mark the incredible journey of billions of birds across the skies. This year, our Visitor Center is under renovation, but that won’t stop us from celebrating virtually! Watch our recorded webinars, and check out ideas and resources for your own migration activities.
- Merlin Bird ID Trivia: Fall Migration Edition
Watch the recorded webinar Play a bird identification trivia game! The Merlin Bird ID app, developed by the Cornell Lab and powered by machine learning, is put to the test. Can the app outperform an experienced birder and, you, our audience? Throughout the game, we explore how Merlin “decides” on an ID. Our panelists share their advice on how to identify tricky birds based on calls and appearance—plus, provide insights into birding during the migration season.
- Shedding Light on Protecting Birds: Research and Recommendations
Watch the recorded webinar Migration season is a precarious time for birds, but the more we understand about bird biology and behavior, the easier we can make their journeys. Our panel of experts share insights from their research and how their work helps us understand how we can better protect birds. Join Dr. Jacob Job, Dr. Jennifer Uehling, and PhD candidate Brendon Samuels for a fascinating hour at the intersection of science and conservation action.
Enjoy Migration With These Free Resources
In addition to watching our webinars and attending events, use these resources to keep up with migration in your own neighborhood. Right now is the peak of fall migration for many species, so don’t miss it! Here are some tools we think you’ll find useful for planning when to go birdwatching, knowing what you’re seeing, and keeping kids fascinated.
Discover Migrating Birds Near You
- Merlin Bird ID: Our free Merlin Bird ID app can help you identify birds, tell you which birds to expect in your area today, and can even identify bird calls. Here’s more on how to get the most out of Merlin.
- BirdCast: Each fall billions of birds make their way to the tropics—and our BirdCast project can let you know when pulses of heavy migration will be coming through your area. Learn how it all works in our recorded webinar with BirdCast project staff—then check the BirdCast migration forecasts and real-time reports! The new Migration Dashboard allows you to drill down to migration patterns at the local level!
- eBird Status and Trends: Using bird observations from hundreds of thousands of eBird users, the eBird Status and Trends maps indicate species abundance and movements of birds across the globe. Use these maps to learn when specific bird species migrate through your area.
Migration Made Fun for Kids and Families
Go outside or explore online and discover more with these interactive ideas.
- Slideshow and Activity Guide: Millions of birds are on their fall migration right now! What do you know about flight and migration? Follow along with this slideshow and activity guide and discover different aspects of flight and why migration is so cool. Craft and game ideas included for the whole family.
- Paper Airplane Olympics: Create and test a variety of airplanes. Give awards for the plane that flies the farthest, straightest, and craziest! Discuss how wing shape affects flight.
- Count Migrating Birds by Moonlight: Go outside with binoculars, a spotting scope, or a small telescope and count how many birds pass in front of the moon. Pro tip: Full moons this migration season will happen Sept. 29 and Oct. 28!
- Make a Pledge to turn off your outdoor lights during migration. Read more from the Lights Out project and learn how light pollution harms migrating birds.
- Family Bird Migration Obstacle Course: Set up a course and race each other through it! What natural and human-made obstacles might migrating birds encounter?
More to Read
A collection of articles to help you learn about migration, including fun facts and advances in research.
- The Basics of Bird Migration: How, Where, and Why. Start with this primer and get a big picture of bird migration.
- How to Use BirdCast to See Your Location Migration in Detail. BirdCast’s Migration Dashboard allows you to see migration patterns and forecasts at the state and county level!
- How Birds Navigate When They Migrate. Turns out, it’s a complex mix of subtle cues.
- The Evolution of Bird Migration. To an earthbound species like humans, migration may seem extreme. But for many bird species it’s all about the availability of resources.
- Tiny Hummingbird’s Incredible Journey. How does a bird that weighs just 2–6 grams fly 1,200 miles without stopping?!
- Is Migration Getting More Dangerous? Bad weather, windows, and predators can all make migration deadly for birds, but there are steps we can take to help!
- Should I Stop Feeding Birds in the Fall So They Can Start their Migration? Find out if feeding birds has an impact on migration.
- The New Migration Science. Advances in science and technology are changing the way we understand migration.
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