© Marcel Burkhardt
In late summer, birds start preparing for the winter season. While some of them change their diet and spend the winter in their breeding grounds, others build up large energy reserves and head south.
Each species follows a clear schedule. The Common Swift is the first to leave. At the end of July or the beginning of August, it takes off towards its wintering grounds in Africa. Of the species that depart in October, some individuals also stay here during winter.
Migratory birds that depart early in the season fly to Africa and generally travel at night and alone. Species that fly south later in the season travel to southern France, Spain, Algeria and Morocco. They often migrate during the day and in flocks. Migratory birds preferably travel when weather conditions are favourable, benefitting from tailwinds and avoiding rain. The journey south proceeds in stages as the birds regularly stop to rest for several days.