Many common Michigan birds leave for winter and return in spring. Do starlings migrate? Robins, sparrows, warblers and hummingbirds are among those that leave for the comforts of a warmer climate. Jeffrey W. Dwyer, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing, MI 48824. These make excellent 4-H club activities that can be done year after year. The underparts of adult male common starlings are less spotted than those of adul… They go to where there is sufficient food and protection. They know when to leave based on photo periods (amount of daylight) combined with environmental factors. During the winter you may be lucky enough to see a starling murmuration. Other birds migrate to Michigan for the winter from northern environments. Visit a bird sanctuary periodically for a few months and take note of the birds you see. Above all, have fun! Lots of questions can arise through observation. The plumage is iridescentblack, glossed purple or green, and spangled with white, especially in winter. Watching bird migrations is an excellent activity to do with youth, and fall is the perfect time to get in on some exciting bird watching. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To contact an expert in your area, visit https://extension.msu.edu/experts, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). Others such as robins and woodcock fly to where the ground does not freeze so they can seek their favorite food-worms. It is that time of year when numerous birds leave our northern climate and head south for the winter. Do starlings migrate and if so, when? Are the same ones present? Many Michigan birds will travel as far as Mexico, the Caribbean and even South America. Other birds do not have sufficient food sources to stay through winter since the ground is frozen and natural food sources are depleted. In the winter you may notice them lining up on the power wires while you drive. In the most basic sense, birds migrate south for survival and return north to reproduce. Do you see them other times of the year? Among standard measurements, the wing chord is 11.8 to 13.8 cm (4.6 to 5.4 in), the tail is 5.8 to 6.8 cm (2.3 to 2.7 in), the culmen is 2.5 to 3.2 cm (0.98 to 1.26 in) and the tarsus is 2.7 to 3.2 cm (1.1 to 1.3 in). When do starling leave? There are undoubtedly many questions about these migrations, particularly from youth. This information is for educational purposes only. What other birds migrate? Starlings use gardens all year round but in the winter our resident population is boosted by migrant birds from mainland Europe. Geese, ducks and most waterfowl migrate south to seek open water where they find food and protection. Sent in by Susan Taylor, York. Where do they all go? The common starling is 19–23 cm (7.5–9.1 in) long, with a wingspan of 31–44 cm (12–17 in) and a weight of 58–101 g (2.0–3.6 oz). Most people have seen the familiar V-shaped flocks of geese flying overhead. You can start doing this by watching the skies for flights of geese and ducks. Get outside and get youth excited about nature! I often get questions on starlings. Why do they leave and why do they come north in the first place? Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status.
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