Why do birds travel in groups?

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Birds of a feather flock together, as the saying goes. The word ‘flock’ decribes a group of birds feeding, resting or travelling together. But why do birds hang out and travel long distances in groups instead of doing it on their own?

Most kinds of bird will migrate, which means that they make long journeys to find safe places to breed and hatch eggs and places that have the right kind of food for them and their growing chicks. But these journeys can be dangerous, so the birds prefer to travel in groups as a way of staying safe from predators (things that might eat them).

And flying long distances is really hard work. So some birds, like geese, fly together in a special formation. Each bird takes its turn to fly at the front of the group, with the others organised behind it in a V shape. The leader bird at the front has to work hard to push its way through the air but because of the way the air moves around it, it feels easier for the other birds flying behind to move through the air. (Fun fact: did you know that cyclists use this same techique when they are riding in big bike races like the Tour de France!) After a while the leader bird moves to the back of the group to take a well-earned rest and another bird takes its turn at the front.

So, there are two main reasons why birds travel together in groups – for safety and to make the long-distance flying easier.

Why not check out the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) website, where you can find out lots of amazing information about birds?

One thought on “Why do birds travel in groups?

  1. VictorsCorner May 20, 2017 / 5:26 pm

    The second reason is really interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

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