Express Delivery

To most UK postcodes

Secure Shopping

PCI Compliant


Add Bird Sighting

Exceptional Service

Over 50K Happy Customers

Do All Birds Migrate?

Do All Birds Migrate?

The simple answer to the question - do all birds migrate? No, not all birds. This blog aims to explore everything you need to know about birds’ migration and what to look out for during the migrating season.

Which Birds Migrate?

Although not all birds migrate, there are still several bird breeds throughout the UK that migrate. However a few birds, never move more than a kilometre from where they were born.

Millions of birds migrate to and from Britain each year, all during different times of the year. Approximately 40% of the world’s total bird population are regular migrants.

Winter Visitors

These types of birds arrive in Britain during autumn and leave the following spring.





Summer Visitors

These bird breeds spend the summer months in Britain, rearing their young before migrating in autumn.





Many questions crop up surrounding summer migration. Such a large number of birds return to Britain during the warmer months, but why?

For many, this is a safer option to breed, away from larger predatory birds and the crowd of African birds. Long daylight hours in the UK mean that fledglings can develop quickly on longer days and lighter nights.

Most birds that spend summer in Britain, spend autumn and winter in Africa, however, some stay closer in parts of Europe, like Spain. The most famous are long-distance migrants.

Spotted one of these birds? Be sure to log it in the BirdSpotter App!

Types Of Migration

There are several different types of migration patterns that birds follow.


An irruption is a mass arrival of birds in large numbers - usually those who do not often visit the UK. This is most commonly a result of a population of birds outgrowing the food supply. Irruptions are rare and usually only happen every 10 years or so.

Altitudinal Migrants

This pattern refers to those birds who only travel up and down on the globe, as opposed to between north, east, south and west.

Sometimes referred to as vertical migration, the birds that follow this migration pattern breed in upland areas during summer months and travel downward during winter to find more food and milder climates.

Moult Migrants

Every bird moults each year - sheds its old feathers to grow new. However, for some bird breeds, this process can take a while and so they cannot fly for some time.

Moult migrants tend to fly to an area of the world with little disturbance from predators or other dangers, so they can moult safely. All moult migrants tend to return to their usual homes after new feathers have grown.

Passage Migrants

Passage migrants use the UK in the same way as a service station, a pitstop to refuel on their journey. Usually, during spring and autumn, birds that follow this migration pattern spend a few weeks in Britain to rest and find food before moving on.

Why Not All Birds Migrate

Not migrating can in fact host a number of benefits to birds.

Birds who don’t migrate throughout the year don’t need to expend energy to travel. This means their energy is then saved to benefit their survival in ways such as watching for predators and defending their territory.

Those birds that don’t need to migrate are able to spend more time raising and nurturing chicks, giving young birds a better chance at survival. Non-migrating birds also have the option to raise more chicks, thus continuing their generations.

Kennedy Wild Bird Food

At Kennedy Wild Bird Food, our team of experts come equipped with thorough knowledge of birds and migration season.

Want to know more about birds and migration? Get in touch!

Call us today on 01778 342665

Or email for more information.

Be sure to document any birds you see throughout migration seasons in the BirdSpotter App!

5th Jul 2023 Rachel Weinhold

Explore Popular Articles

Our Customers Love Us


Discounts, Specials & News Updates Delivered to Your Inbox.