Look out for these special feathered friends from other countries.

Did you know that Hyderabad is a hot spot for many migratory birds? Most of these birds migrate from Europe and Central Asia.

Birds migrate for a host of reasons: to escape harsh climate, changes in habitat and to meet food requirements.

Variety

"Bar-headed geese, ducks, sandpipers, starlings, warblers and marsh harriers are popular migratory birds found in the city,” says Shafaat Ulla, the Honorary Secretary of the Birdwatcher's Society of Andhra Pradesh. Hussain Sagar lake was once the winter home for many migratory birds. However, as the pollution level of the water has increased, these birds go elsewhere. The clean waters of the Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar lakes, plus a few wetlands now attract the birds. Flamingos, pelicans and many other birds halt at water bodies here before continuing their journey further south.

These birds follow the same path year after year, and visit the same destination year after year before they return home after tiding over the adverse climate conditions. Migration of birds is a unique phenomenon, which is still being researched.

Bird bits

· Before migrating, many birds increase their body weight to store fat to use as energy while travelling.

· Birds use the stars, sun, wind patterns and landforms for navigation. The earth's magnetic field also plays a part in how birds migrate.

· The Arctic tern has the longest recorded migration of any bird on the planet. It migrates from the Arctic circle to the Antarctic circle, a round-trip migration of roughly 22,000 miles.

Keywords: migratory birds