Do backyard birds return to the same spot year after year?

April 1, 2009
Migratory birds, like this American Robin, may return to the same place year after year. Photo by lindapp57 via Birdshare. Migratory birds, like this American Robin, may return to the same place year after year. Photo by lindapp57 via Birdshare.
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Many migratory songbirds return to the same local area, and often to the exact same territory, each spring, even after traveling thousands of miles to and from their wintering grounds. Migratory songbirds tend to have short lives (annual mortality rates are about 50 percent), but birds that survive their first winter to breed in your yard have a higher chance of surviving year to year. Studies of banded birds show that 20-60 percent of migratory songbirds are likely to return to the same local area at least two years in a row.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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