45 Birds that Migrate (A to Z List with Pictures)

Birds that Migrate

Examples of birds that migrate include American Tree Sparrows, Arctic Terns, Baer’s Pochard, Bar-Tailed Godwit, and Blackburnian Warblers.

Some birds, like penguins, are strictly polar animals and never leave the coldest parts of the globe. Other birds, like crows, are incredibly adaptable and can be found in many different habitats. But, there are some bird species that migrate over great distances to stay in weather that’s comfortable to themselves.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most amazing birds that migrate.

Examples of Birds that Migrate

1. American Tree Sparrows

Scientific NameSpizelloides arborea
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesouthern Canada and the northern United States

American Tree Sparrows are small, brown sparrows that live in temperate areas of the United States and Canada. During the winter, these birds migrate south to areas like Florida and Texas, where they spend their time foraging for seeds and insects.

Related Article: Do Birds Eat Strawberries?

2. Arctic Terns

Scientific NameSterna paradisaea
Type of AnimalBird

Arctic terns are birds that exist in the extreme north of the planet, from Greenland and Iceland to Alaska. They spend their winters at sea near Antarctica, traveling as much as 30,000 miles annually between the two poles.

3. Baer’s Pochard

Scientific NameAythya baeri
Type of AnimalBird

The Baer’s Pochard is a duck-like bird that can be found in the Arctic Circle. During the winter months, this species of pochard migrates to open water habitats across Europe and Asia.

4. Bar-Tailed Godwit

Scientific NameLimosa lapponica
Type of AnimalBird
Rangenorthwestern Alaska and northern Europe and Asia

The bar-tailed godwit is a migratory bird that travels between New Zealand and Alaska. It has one of the longest migration routes of any bird, at around 9,000 miles. The godwit can fly nonstop for up to seven days, covering a distance of over 7,500 miles.

5. Blackburnian Warblers

Scientific NameSetophaga fusca
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America

These little songbirds spend their summers in the northern woods of North America. Come fall, they head south to spend the winter in Central and South America. Their migration route takes them over the Gulf of Mexico, where they stop to refuel on insects.

Related Article: Do Warblers Whistle?

6. Black-Headed Bunting

Scientific NameEmberiza melanocephala
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesouth-east Europe east to Iran

One of the most impressive migrators is the black-headed bunting. This small, sparrow-like bird lives in Europe during the summer but travels all the way to Africa for the winter. Each year, millions of these birds make this incredible journey.

7. Black-Tailed Godwit

Scientific NameLimosa limosa
Type of AnimalBird
RangeEurope and Asia

This amazing bird is found in the wetlands of North America, Europe, Asia, and South America. In spring, they migrate north from their winter habitats in Africa to breed in areas with shallow wetlands.

8. Blue Jays

Scientific NameCyanocitta
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeeastern and central United States

One of the most common and widespread birds in North America is the blue jay. These beautiful birds are known for their striking blue plumage and their loud, harsh calls. What many people don’t know about blue jays is that they are actually pretty good at flying long distances. In fact, some blue jays have been known to migrate over 1,000 miles to warmer climates.

Read Also: Do Blue Jay Have Tufted Head?

9. Blue-Tailed Bee-Eaters

Scientific NameMerops philippinus
Type of AnimalBird

The blue-tailed bee-eaters are found in South Africa and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa. These birds migrate to more northern regions, where they typically spend the winter months.

10. Brown-Breasted Flycatchers

Scientific NameMuscicapa muttui
Type of AnimalBird
RangeSouth America

The brown-breasted flycatcher is native to South America, and it is known for its remarkable ability to migrate. These birds can travel more than a quarter of the way around the world each year, making them one of the truly great migratory bird species.

11. Calliope Hummingbird

Scientific NameSelasphorus calliope
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorthwestern mountains

Located in the western United States and parts of Canada, the Calliope Hummingbird is one of the smallest bird species in North America. These tiny birds travel incredible distances each year as they migrate between their breeding grounds in Western North America and their wintering grounds along the Pacific coast.

Related Article: Do Hummingbirds Have Green Feathers?

12. Citrine Wagtail

Scientific NameMotacilla citreola
Type of AnimalBird
Rangecentral and western Europe

One of the most incredible bird species that migrate is the citrine wagtail. This small, beautiful bird makes an incredible journey every year, flying from its breeding grounds in northeast Asia all the way to Africa and back again. During this journey, they travel over 10,420 km, crossing some of the largest bodies of water on earth.

13. Clark’s Nutcrackers

Scientific NameNucifraga columbiana
Type of AnimalBird
RangeThe United States and southwestern Canada

Clark’s Nutcrackers are a type of bird found in North America. These birds migrate over long distances and travel to some of the most extreme environments on earth, including the Arctic tundra and the high mountains of South America.

14. Common Hawk-Cuckoos

Scientific NameHierococcyx varius
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeeastern Asia

The common hawk-cuckoo is an amazing migratory bird that undertakes some of the longest and most difficult journeys of any bird species. These birds migrate from their summer breeding grounds in eastern Asia to their wintering grounds in southern Africa, covering thousands of miles in the process.

15. Common Redshank

Scientific NameTringa totanus
Type of AnimalBird

The common redshank is a migratory bird that breeds in the wettest parts of Northern Europe and Asia. Each year, these birds migrate to southern Africa, where they spend their winters feeding on small crabs and worms near the coast. These birds are known for their long legs and distinctive orange-red beak.

16. Ducks

Scientific NameAnatidae
Type of AnimalBird

Ducks are a type of waterfowl that can be found all over the world. There are many different species of ducks, but they all have one thing in common- they love to migrate.

One of the most well-known migratory duck species is the mallard. Mallards typically breed in the northern hemisphere and then migrate to the southern hemisphere in the winter.

But, mallards are not the only migrating duck species. Other common migratory ducks include:

  • Pintails
  • Wigeons
  • Shovelers
  • Gadwalls
  • Redheads

Related Article: What Eats Ducks?

17. Eurasian Spoonbill

Scientific NamePlatalea leucorodia
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe United Kingdom

The Eurasian spoonbill is a wading bird that can be found in Europe, Asia, and Africa. In the winter, they migrate to the southern parts of the continent.

18. Eurasian Wrynecks

Scientific NameJynx torquilla
Type of AnimalBird
RangeEurope and Asia

These little woodpeckers breed in Europe and Asia and then migrate to Africa for the winter. They fly non-stop for up to four days to make the journey.

19. Flycatchers

Scientific NameTyrannidae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America

The majority of flycatchers migrate to Central and South America for the winter months. One species, in particular, the purple martin, makes an incredible journey. These birds travel all the way from North America to Brazil – a round trip of over 16,000 kilometers.

20. Geese

Scientific NameAnser
Type of AnimalBird

There are many different types of geese, but all of them are known for their long-distance migrations. One species, the Arctic goose, breeds in the far north and can migrate over 6,400 kilometers to reach its wintering grounds.

Another amazing goose is the bar-headed goose, which breeds in Central Asia. This species has been recorded flying over the Himalayas at an altitude of 8,848 meters.

21. Great White Pelican

Scientific NamePelecanus onocrotalus
Type of AnimalBird

The Great White Pelican is a large, white bird that breeds across Northern  Africa and the Middle East. Each year, the pelicans migrate to coastal areas in Southern Europe, India, and Asia. These amazing birds fly in long lines of up to 20 individuals at a time and can travel thousands of miles each season.

22. Lesser Redpolls

Scientific NameAcanthis cabaret
Type of AnimalBird

Lesser redpolls are a type of finch that can be found in the northern tundra. Each year, these birds migrate to much warmer areas in order to escape the cold winter months. They have even been spotted as far south as North Africa and Japan.

Read Also: Do Arctic Redpoll Look Like Sparrow?

23. Loggerhead Shrike

Scientific NameLanius ludovicianus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America

The loggerhead shrike is a large songbird that is found across much of North America. These birds are known for their distinctive black and white coloration, as well as their unique hunting behaviors.

One of the most remarkable things about loggerhead shrikes is their incredible migratory behavior. Each spring, these birds migrate from their wintering grounds in the southern United States all the way to their breeding grounds in Canada.

24. Mountain Bulbul

Scientific NameIxos mcclellandii
Type of AnimalBird
RangeSoutheast Asia

The mountain bulbul is a small songbird that is found in the Himalayas. Every year, these birds migrate from the mountains to the lowlands in order to escape the cold weather.

25. Northern Harrier

Scientific NameCircus cyaneus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeArctic tundra to prairie grasslands to fields and marshes

The northern harrier is a large, grey-brown raptor with long wings and a narrow tail. This impressive bird migrates all the way to South America during the winter months. As they migrate south, these birds fly in huge flocks that can include thousands of individuals. They overwinter on grasslands in Brazil, where they feed on small mammals and insects.

26. Northern Shoveler

Scientific NameSpatula clypeata
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth American

The northern shoveler is a type of duck that is known for its long, pointed beak and distinctive coloration. This species lives in the marshes and wetlands of Canada and the northern US but spends its winters in southern states like Florida and Texas. Each year, millions of northern shovelers undertake a long migration to wintering grounds where they can find open water and plentiful food.

27. Northern Wheatear

Scientific NameOenanthe oenanthe
Type of AnimalBird
Rangenorthern Alaska

The northern wheatear is a small songbird that spends most of its time in the arctic tundra. Every spring, this remarkable little bird undertakes an incredible journey, flying thousands of miles to the southern tips of Africa and South America. During this epic migration, the northern wheatear must navigate across some of the most hostile environments on Earth, including the Sahara Desert.

28. Orange-Bellied Parrot

Scientific NameNeophema chrysogaster
Type of AnimalBird
Rangemainland Australia

The orange-bellied parrot is one of the most fascinating birds that migrate. This small parrot breeds only in southern Australia and spends its winters on islands off the coast of Tasmania. Each year, hundreds of these birds travel thousands of miles to reach their wintering grounds.

29. Orioles

Scientific NameIcterus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeeastern and central North America

This little parrot breeds in Tasmania and then flies to the southern coast of Australia to spend the winter. The journey is around 1,000 miles and it is thought that they use magnetic fields to help them navigate.

30. Peregrine Falcon

Scientific NameFalco peregrinus
Type of AnimalBird

The Peregrine Falcon is a bird of prey that can be found on every continent except for Antarctica. These birds are known for their incredible speed, which can reach up to 200 miles per hour! Peregrine Falcons migrate long distances in order to find food.

Related Article: Do Falcon Eat Penguins?

More Examples of Birds that Migrate

  • Rainbow Bee-Eater
  • Red Knot
  • Robins
  • Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds
  • Sandhill Cranes
  • Siberian Rubythroat
  • Snow Bunting
  • Snowy Owl
  • Sooty Shearwater
  • Swans
  • Vireos
  • Waxwings
  • Western Yellow Wagtail
  • White Stork
  • Whooping Crane


Birds are amazing creatures that can fly long distances and migrate to different parts of the world. Some of the most impressive migrators are the blue-tailed bee-eaters, blue jays, arctic terns, black-headed bunting, snowy plovers, Blackburnian warblers, bar-tailed godwits, and American tree sparrows.

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