How to Count a Billion Birds and the Number Surviving Gulf Migration Each Year
It happens twice a year, but when you take the time to notice it, the annual migrations of birds can be so magical. Texas Audubon posts details of ways human allies can help our fine, feathered friends with simple practices of dimming turning out lights. Check our Events listings for “Lights Out for Birds,” which allows folks to sign up for alerts and provides information, while specific to Texas, can also apply to the entire Gulf Coast. – Editor
Each spring, billions of birds cross the Gulf of Mexico. New research is giving scientists a detailed look at the members of this massive migration.
More than one billion birds will attempt the perilous journey north over the Gulf of Mexico to reach their spring breeding grounds in North America. As few as one in five will make it back south to their winter habitat. This arduous journey – by gnatcatchers, flycatchers, warblers, buntings, and others – takes place along one of the most significant migration routes in the world.
The marshes, beaches, and forests around the Gulf are crucial refueling points, especially on the Texas and Louisiana coasts where spring migrants arrive starving. More than 100 species of shorebirds, waterfowl, and songbirds have migrated along the 2,700-kilometer Gulf coastline during the spring. During peak times, there can be as many as 26,000 birds per kilometer of airspace.