Do all birds migrate in the fall?

Canada Jay (formerly Gray Jay), Kananaskis, High Noon Hills (Sheep River) by J. Potter
Canada Jay (formerly Gray Jay), Kananaskis, High Noon Hills (Sheep River) by J. Potter

Migration is the movement that birds do in the spring and fall every year. In the spring, they fly north to where their breeding grounds are to build nests and have babies. In the fall, birds fly south to warmer places where they spend the winter where there is lots of food. In Alberta, we have over 400 bird species but not every species will migrate in the winter. Some birds are adapted to living through our dark, cold winters which is an amazing feat considering many of them are so small! Black-capped chickadees are one of the most common birds that you will see flying around in winter. They spend their time looking for insects and seeds and they survive the cold by lowering their body temperature to conserve energy. Another very common bird that sticks around all winter is the Canada jay. These birds have no problem staying in the cold winters and because they do not spend a lot of energy migrating, they are able to live quite a long time even though they are such small birds!

For a really great resource on birds that live in your area at a certain time of year, check out this wonderful Photo Identification Guide by Birds Canada! Just zoom in to where you are going bird watching and pick the time of year, and voila! A lovely photo guide to take on your nature walks: https://www.birdscanada.org/apps/checklist/index.jsp

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