This is from the lecture given by Godfrey Jakosalem during the 8th Philippine Bird Festival held on December 2012.space
Migratory Birds: Philippines as a Migratory Flyway
by: Philip Godfrey Jakosalem
Tundra is the ideal place for breeding in northern summer; Long days mean high productivity; Clouds of insects – don’t even have to move to feed. Long views – predators cannot sneak up easily; Camouflage essential – breeding plumage the perfect match for Tundra vegetation
The linear flight formations of migratory birds are called echelons. The V and the J structures are typical and are the most readily recognized flock echelons, but other variations also occur. Studies of several species have shown that a true V-shaped echelon is, in fact, less common than a J formation is.
Explanations for why birds fly in formation. One is to conserve energy by taking advantage of the upwash vortex fields created by the wings of the birds in front. The other is to facilitate orientation and communication among the birds.
Chicks can’t keep warm without adults – use brood patches
The entire cycle takes place over 6-8 short weeks, then it’s time to migrate south again before the weather turns bad!
Juveniles don’t always return north with parents – some (Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper) do, others spend first 1-3 years south before migrating to northern breeding grounds.eg Eastern Curlew, Whimbrel do not return north until 3-4 years old
In 2007 NZ scientists fitted 16 Bar-tailed Godwits with satellite transmitters and followed their amazing migration journeys via Google Earth. One godwit E7 made a record breaking, 9 day non-stop trans-Pacific Ocean flight of about 11,600 kilometres from Alaska back to NZ, confirming for the first time that these birds were capable of and regularly making such journeys. The round-trip of 29,000 km travelled is also the longest known of any shorebird species.
Following on from this researchers tracked the menzbieri sub-species of Bar-tailed Godwits between north-west Australia and their breeding grounds. 15 godwits were fitted with satellite transmitters at the Broome Bird Observatory in February 2008 & the migration of 12 birds was tracked to and from the breeding grounds in (west and north) Alaska and (north and central) Siberia, via Yellow sea staging sites, back to Roebuck Bay.
As technology gets smaller and more reliable, it is becoming possible to track smaller and smaller animals on their journeys around the globe. And as always, the results continue to amaze us. In March; April 2009, the VWSG in collaboration with AWSG used some relatively new technology by attaching geolocators to 8 Ruddy Turnstone; 6 of these were placed on birds captured at Flinders and 2 were placed on birds in SE of South Australia.These instruments were supplied by British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, England. Weighing 1.1g, they record light levels which can be processed to give location latitude and longitude. In order to work the logger requires an unobscured view of natural light level at dawn and dusk. It was hoped that this would provide us with significantly more knowledge of the migration and breeding movements of these birds. However, to get this information, the bird needs to be recaptured and the instrument removed for downloading!
What is a waterbird? Also known as waterbirds or waders or shorebirds or waterfowl. Group of long-legged birds; mostly associated with wetland habitats; Includes 12 families; 210 species worldwide. Range in size from the tiny red-necked stint (just over 30 g) to the Eastern curlew (can weigh up to 1.3 kg)
Many shorebirds, however, are migratory. The distances travelled are amazing, some travelling up to 26,000 km each year. The migration routes birds travel along are called “flyways”; There are eight major migratory waterbird flyways around the world
The East Asian-Australasian Flyway is the one use by birds that migrate to Australia and New Zealand in the non-breeding season.
1 Pacific and Americas
2 Central Americas
3 Atlantic America
4 East Atlantic
5 Mediterranean/Black Sea
6 East Asia / East Africa
7 Central Asia/ South Asia
8 East Asia Australasia
Central Asia (Left) East Asia Australasia (right)