How Birds (and Other Animals) Migrate Successfully

Contributor: Victoria Surface. Lesson ID: 10746

Have you ever seen a bird carry a compass? Do fish carry a waterproof GPS? How do they know where to go? They have a compass in their eyes! Watch a video and make a compass to learn how they migrate!


Life Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • Have you ever seen anything like what is in the video below?

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This is called a murmuration of starlings. As these birds migrate, they whirl in the sky. The way it looks is not the only amazing thing about it!

  • How do birds know how to migrate?
  • Can they see things that humans can't?

The migratory pattern of birds (and other animals) is fascinating!

  • How do they know where to migrate?
  • How do they find their way?

Explore how birds and some other animals have a magnetic sense, which allows them to migrate successfully!

Get started with another video to learn how birds use magnetic fields to find their way.

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Learn more about the magnetic sense of birds and other animals as you read the following resources.

Then, answer these questions.

  • What is magnetoreception?
  • How are birds able to see magnetic fields?
  • What tiny particles are located in birds and other animals that help with their sense of direction?
  • How is the earth like a magnet?

If you are unsure, check the answers below.

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If you think you've got it, then move on to the Got It? section to experiment with magnetism.

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