The winter brings a lot of visitors to Kabini, which is an annual phenomenon that involves large scale movement of birds between their breeding (summer) homes and their non-breeding (winter) homes.
Birds migrate to move from areas of low or decreasing resources to areas of high or increasing resources. The two primary resources being sought are food and nesting locations. Escaping the cold is a motivating factor. Migration remains one of the most compelling aspects of the avian world. Twice a year, billions of birds migrate vast distances across the globe, following a predominantly north-south axis.
Among all, one of my favorites is the Bar Headed Goose. I was very lucky to photograph a flock of this magnificent bird resting on the river bank not very far from our resort. The flock consisted of 250 plus individuals (I have counted up to 282 and later gave up counting). They are usually very quiet birds, but are loud during flight and courtship.
The Central Asian Flyway is the shortest flyway in the world. Lying entirely within the Northern Hemisphere, it connects a large swathe of the Palaearctic with the Indian subcontinent. Separating the subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau to the North are the Himalayas, which rise to over 8km and stretch 200km from north to south.
Many of the migratory birds that breed in the mid-Palaearctic choose to avoid this formidable barrier and instead make a longer, south-westerly flight to Africa for the northern winter. The world’s highest-altitude migrant, the Bar-headed Goose, follows a route directly over the Himalayan range.