10 animals that migrate in winter

In nature, living things are constantly on the move. They do it for different reasons that range from reproduction, to searching for food or shelter from climate change. We invite you to know what are the animals that migrate and why they do it.

The animals that migrate They show us how wise nature is and how it builds the necessary balance to sustain ecosystems. Below we give you the details of why these migrations occur and which are the most significant.

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Animals that migrate: what are migrations?

To know in detail which animals migrate and why they do so, the first step we must take is to seek to understand what migrations are. Migrations are understood as the movements exerted by certain groups of living beings from one habitat to another.

Migratory processes are a mechanism of nature that seeks to achieve balance in the different ecosystems that are part of this process. On the one hand, we have the initial ecosystems, which are those from which the animals start. Then the intermediate ecosystems are a kind of habitats or places of transit. And finally the final ecosystems, those that serve as a place of welcome for migrant groups.

What factors intervene in the migration of animals?

We must emphasize that two types of factors are involved in migratory processes: biotic (which are living beings involved in the process) and abiotic (certain conditions that these groups of animals take advantage of to move, such as water currents or winds).

This process that migrating animals go through usually lasts days and even weeks, being for many a complex and risky journey.

Animals that migrate, why do they do it?

These migratory movements have different reasons, ranging from survival to reproduction. The main triggers for animals to migrate are the following:

  • The climate: year after year the world goes through cyclical changes in climate, specifically in temperature and precipitation. This forces those animals that develop their lives in temperate climates, once the temperature rises in their primary habitat, to seek to migrate to another where the cold prevails. The same happens in reverse with those who live in warm areas.

  • Refuge: Climate change, urban expansion over the countryside and the natural habitats of many species, have forced thousands of species to seek new living spaces. Demonstrating that even in nature there are forced migrations due to the action of man.

  • Survive: Many of the animals that migrate do so out of survival instinct. From looking for new partners with which to reproduce, to lack of food or water, these are just some of the causes that force them to move to survive.

We must be clear that these are the causes in broad strokes, by which the animals that migrate are mobilized. Then, depending on the species or the specific ecosystem, there may be other types of causes.

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10 animals that migrate in winter

The animals that migrate are innumerable, but without a doubt there are examples within each species that stand out in their habitat movements for different reasons. Either because of the distances they travel, because of the massiveness of these migrations or because of the difficulties they must go through to reach their destination.

There are many reasons, as we detailed in the previous section, leading, for example, to having animals that migrate constantly in winter, every year.

Let’s know the 10 animals that migrate in winter and stand out for their movements throughout the planet:

  • Humpback Whale: These aquatic mammals have the particularity of not only being one of the animals that migrate in winter, but also being able to cover all the world’s oceans. When winter arrives they take refuge in tropical waters where they mate looking to reproduce. As soon as the temperatures begin to rise, they move towards the polar waters where they look for their food. These animals can travel more than 17 thousand kilometers in their migratory movements.

  • American Reindeer: This type of reindeer, native to the northern hemisphere, is one of the animals that migrate due to temperature changes. When summer arrives they move towards the areas of the continent that remain colder, such as the tundras. They usually look for spaces with low temperatures, but always avoiding snowfalls, because they are aware that food is scarce with them. The migration process is usually initiated by the females in the company of their offspring, usually the youngest.

  • Monarch butterfly: This is one of the insects that travels the longest distances when it migrates. This butterfly, which is the longest of its species (it can live up to 9 months), travels from Canada to Mexico between the months of August and October of each year. When the month of March arrives, it undertakes the return to its point of origin.

  • Canada Goose: this bird stands out because in its migratory flights, the herd makes V formations that can be seen from a distance. It is one of the animals that migrates during the winter, since when temperatures drop they move south looking not only for warmer climates but also for food sources.

  • Loggerhead: This turtle has warm seas as its habitat. It is also one of the animals that migrate in winter, once the waters get colder, seeking refuge in tropical seas. It is one of the marine species that moves the most when migrating, reaching trips of up to 12 thousand kilometers.

  • White stork: It is a large bird that stands out for its journey from Europe to Africa. It is another of the animals that migrate for the winter. These birds seek to reach their final destination without passing through the Mediterranean Sea, since the thermal columns that they use for sustenance to fly only occur over land.

  • Barn Swallow: This bird inhabits much of the world. They can be found on four continents: Asia, Africa, Europe and America. This species has the particularity that it achieves its great expansion in territory, thanks to human progress. This is because they take advantage of human constructions to build their nests and have their young. When they migrate, they bet on looking for open spaces and close to water.

  • Dragon-fly: this insect is one of the animals that migrate making trans-oceanic trips. This species makes the most extensive migration within the insects, managing to move up to 15 thousand kilometers, between India and East Africa.

  • Sooty Shearwaters: These are a type of seabirds that develop their lives in three oceans: the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian. This bird can achieve flights of up to 900 kilometers per day. When it has its young, it usually moves through southern areas of the Atlantic, Pacific, some islands of New Zealand and the Falkland Islands. When autumn and summer arrive, they rumba their way to the northern hemisphere.

  • California Sea Lion: These marine mammals can travel more than 8,000 kilometers traveling from their habitat on the southern California coast to the cold waters of Alaska where they forage.

This list reflects only a few of the hundreds of animal species that migrate. As we can see, there are many animals that migrate in winter, looking for warmer climates or better food sources.

Animals that migrate: cycles of nature

Migrating animals show us how wise nature can be in finding the necessary balance to sustain ecosystems. Some species move in search of more food sources, others to flee from possible predators, other animals that migrate in winter, are a clear example of how necessary it is for all forms of life to achieve a better climate to carry on with their lives.

Migrating animals also show us the effects of global warming, which is unleashing a climate crisis that we cannot let go unnoticed. We invite you to learn more about these movements and care every day for all the animals that migrate in favor of the ecosystems that surround us.

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