Animal Migrations: 14 Journeys Worth Witnessing

Witnessing the travels of migrating animals has thrilled people for millennia. Elephants, polar bears, even monarch butterflies traverse the earth in search of warmer climates or nesting grounds.

Animals undertake any number of migrations, including seasonal, latitudinal and reproductive migrations. Luckily, some of the most amazing trips are visible by even the least eager human traveler.

With the winter months fast approaching, some of the most awe-inspiring migrations that you can witness around the globe. Some can be experienced first hand (Barbuda's frigate bird sanctuary is truly amazing) while others are harder to reach.

Nature's most amazing spectacles are just a plane ride (or two or three) away.

Frigate Birds migrate along the Gulf Coast and Caribbean and make their home in the winter months in Barbuda's Frigate Bird Sanctuary, which hosts roughly 5,000 birds, making it the Frigate Bird hub of the Caribbean. When: September through April for mating season
Breeding season includes the fleeing of some 50 million Red Crabs in Australia's Christmas Island. Male crabs move first, fight for space and burrow. The female crabs arrive a few days later to be impregnated. Takamaxa
Fruit Bats, which range from Sudan south to Zambia , migrate every fall to Zambia's Kasanka National Park. Roughly 8 million fruit bats emerge every evening to feed on the area's masuku fruit.
Each fall, over a thousand Polar Bears wait in the small town of Churchill (aka the "polar bear capital of the world ") in Manitoba for the Hudson Bay to freeze over.
Like, Wildebeest, Zebras migrate through these two African nations each year
According to the African Wildlife Foundation, the largest land mammal migration in the world is that of the Serengeti Wildebeest, which goes on the move in search of grass and water. The AWF says that these animals make a migratory circle of 500 to 1,000 miles annually beginning right after the calving season in January and February on the southeastern Serengeti plains and moving west toward Lake Victoria before turning north into the Maasai Mara.
Green Sea Turtles storm the beaches of northeastern Costa Rica (on the country's Pacific Ocean side) to lay eggs at night . The 'arribada,' as this migration is called, involves roughly 800,000 turtles coming ashore to spawn
Grey Whales have the longest migration of any mammal, traveling up to 20,000 miles round trip every year between Mexico and the Arctic
Some 300 million monarch butterflies arrive each year to breed at the Oyamel forest in Angangueo after traveling roughly 2,800 miles from the US and Canada.
June & July each summer, Alaska's caribou population--some 115,000-- gathers in the northeastern part of the state to give birth and raise their young before heading south for winter.

Migrating along the same route they've followed for thousand's of years, Greater Sandhill Cranes arrive in the San Luis Valley in late winter every year. More than 25,000 cranes stop here to rest and feed as they travel from their wintering grounds of Mexico, Arizona and New Mexico to their summer homes in the northern Rocky Mountains.
The African Elephant population of Mali migrates some 300 miles a year in search of water .
Flamingos move around the Rift Valley to feed off the area's green algae , including that of Lake Nakuru.
The world's highest-altitude migrating species , the Bar-Headed Goose travels from its winter feeding areas at sea level in India over the Himalayas to summer nesting grounds in Tibet.

Credits Pictures: Alaskan Dude, Mediawiki

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