Migration is a form of adaptation. Birds migrate to survive. Learning about migration is one of the best ways to understand the risks that birds and other animals must take in their daily lives - and it's a great way to interpret the changes you can see in the bird life around you.
A look at bird migrations
Which birds migrate?
Not all birds migrate, such as partridges. But they are in the minority - most birds will migrate.
Choosing the route
Migrating birds don't just point themselves in the right direction and hope for the best. Each species has its own route
Take part in the swift survey
Now’s the time we start welcoming swifts back to the UK, but sadly their numbers have dropped by 53% between 1995 and 2016. This could be down to loss of nest sites. You can help! We need to know when you’ve seen a swift nest site, or a group of screaming swifts. Let us know by completing our swift survey. It will help us know if the swifts are returning and nesting here.
Migratory bird stories
Young cuckoos migrate to Africa on their own! Sadly, we’ve lost more than 40% of our cuckoos in the last 20 years.
Satellite tags have told us a lot about osprey migration.
Until recently, we’ve known blackcaps as summer visitors, spending winters in southern Europe or north Africa. But things are changing!
Let Nature Sing
Think of bird song. It’s likely that the song of cuckoos and nightingales will come to the top of the list. These migrants are some of our most recognisable and beautiful singers. But imagine a day when nature falls silent. It’s unthinkable, which is why we’ve set up our Let Nature Sing campaign.
Migration route map
Discover the incredible journeys that animals make on their migration routes with our clickable kids’ migration route map. You’ll see the amazing journeys made by grey whales, monarch butterflies, Arctic terns, ospreys and swallows, and find out other fascinating facts about them too! Did you know Arctic terns migrate a staggering 12,000 miles (20,000 km)?
Migration news and blogs
Monday 24 June 2019 by Jeremy Dupuy
Turtle doves are now back on their breeding grounds in East Anglia and south-east England, feeding up and raising their..
Monday 17 June 2019 by Sonia Neves
Every spring and summer our skies become filled with the sight and sounds of migratory birds. Many of these feathered travellers..
Friday 24 May 2019 by Derek Gruar
Witnessing bird migration in action can be an inspiring and memorable experience. Derek Gruar from the RSPB Centre for Conservation..
Tuesday 14 May 2019 by Hannah Ward
Black-tailed godwits that breed in the UK migrate to the warmer climes of Spain, Portugal and West Africa for the winter..
Monday 13 May 2019 by Dr Susana Requena
Dr Susana Requena from the RSPB's Centre for Conservation Science explains how new technology is uncovering the secrets..