7 Animals that Migrate during Winter

The weather gets colder during winter. Many people set heater at home to keep them warm and wear heavy clothes and coat outside. Meanwhile, some animals also do many different things to get through the winter.

Some of them migrate to another place. Migration means moving to other places where the weather is warmer and they can find food. Some animals are adapted to cold weather in winter. Learn on how animals prepare and survive winter coldness.

Let’s see all the animals that migrate during winter on the following list.

  • Gray Whale

Every year, gray whales travel around 14,000 miles. These whales have one of the longest migrating cycle among the other mammals. In October, the gray whales in the Alaskan waters start migrating to the Gulf of California and Baja peninsula.

As the winter comes in Alaska, most of the marine animals migrate to the warmer oceans prompting the gray whales to follow. The ones who arrive first are usually the pregnant females because it is very important to find a safe place for their newborns.

Gray whale is also listed as one of the mammals of Antarctica. Also see the other types of animals born in winter time.

  • Monarch Butterfly

Monarch butterfly has a unique and amazing migration phenomenon. The monarch butterfly is known to have a two-way migration as birds do. Monarch butterflies cannot survive the cold winter of northern climate, so they travel south for the winter.

They use a combination of air currents and thermals for travelling long distances. They can fly as far as 3,000 miles to reach their winter home!

The monarch butterflies overwinters in the same 11 to 12 mountains areas in Mexico and Michoacan starting from October to late March.

Butterflies are beautiful creatures, have you ever wondered what makes butterflies have variable colors?

  • Caribou

Caribou herds migrate at different distances. Large herds tend to migrate long distances while the small herds tend to migrate shorter distances. For instance, the Porcupine caribou herd that contains around 218,000 animals, migrates between winter and summer ranges that are about 400 miles apart.

On the other hand, the smaller herd, the Central Arctic herd that contains around 30,000 animals only migrates about 120 miles apart.

During the migration, caribou may face some obstacles. They must deal with whatever is placed on the land by human development, such as roads. They are supposed to move freely over vast areas to forage, avoid predators and reach the favorable ranges.

  • Arctic Tern

This small and slender gray-and-white bird with angular wings is well known for its long yearly migration. It migrates from its breeding grounds in Arctic to Antarctica to enjoy the Antarctic summer. It covers around 25,000 miles!

The Arctic tern leaves the wintering grounds in March. As a result, this bird can be seen in coastal North America starting in late April with greater numbers passing through in May. During the migration, they will stay out to see.

  • Bats

Many species of bats migrate between summer and winter habitats. Some of them search for more abundant sources of food in warmer places, while some others find the best habitat for hibernating in winter or raising their young in summer. Hoary bats, for instance, migrate south for winter when the insects become scarce.

  • Canada Geese

Have you ever seen the iconic v-formations? Those formations may be formed by migrating Canada geese. The Canada geese can fly at a distance of 1,500 miles in just 24 hours!

In the classic migration pattern, the flocks of Canada geese that wintered in the southern U.S. will fly north in the spring, returning to the same spot in the high and sub-Arctic to breed and nest. Then, between September and October, they will head south again.

However, since the 1600s, there are some members of this species were found never migrated. They nested in a swath of habitat ranging from the Great Lakes to the Rocky Mountains. They moved only far enough south each winter for finding food and open water.

  • Earthworm

Earthworm is one of the insects you can find inside the soil. Never think that earthworms will move far away during their migration. Earthworms are known to have vertical migration. Earthworms in winter are similar to the earthworms during drought.

They will burrow deeply. They are known as the night crawlers and the biggest garden earthworms. They will tunnel as much as six feet down. While they are tunneling, they will take all the organic matter with them.

Finally, they build permanent burrows and wait for moisture. They will spend time hibernating there, waiting for the soil to soften before moving upward.