Atlantic Flyway

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Waterfowl flyways in the United States.
The Atlantic Flyway is in violet

The Atlantic Flyway is a major north-south flyway for migratory birds in North America. The route generally starts in Greenland, then follows the Atlantic coast of Canada, then south down the Atlantic Coast south to the tropical areas of South America and the Caribbean.[1] Every year, migratory birds travel up and down this route following food sources, heading to breeding grounds, or traveling to overwintering sites.

This route is used by birds typically because no mountains block most of this path, though birds cross the northern, central and southern Appalachians to join the flyway. Good sources of water, food, and cover exist over its entire length. The warm climates found in the southern portion of the region are home to many northern birds in winter, while in summer the East Coast is home to many bird species from South America.

Notable locations[edit]

Along the Atlantic Flyway, there are many key sites that migratory birds use to gather to breed, feed, or rest for certain periods. Some species may remain in these rest stops for the entire season, but most continue to move on. Notable locations include:


United States[edit]

Other flyways[edit]

The other primary migration routes for North American birds include the Mississippi, Central and Pacific Flyways.

There is an East Atlantic Flyway in Europe,[6] and one in the Atlantic Ocean.[7]


  1. ^ "Flyways: Administrative". US Fish & Wildlife Service.
  2. ^ "About the Refuge - Blackwater - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service". Retrieved 2020-06-10.
  3. ^ "Wildlife at Blackwater NWR". Friends of Blackwater. Retrieved 2020-06-10.
  4. ^ Blackwater, Friends of. "Wildlife at Blackwater NWR". Retrieved 2020-06-10.
  5. ^ "Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge" (PDF). U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. September 2019. Retrieved 2020-06-10.
  6. ^ Network, Atlantic Flyway. "Atlantic Flyway Network - HOME". Retrieved 2018-06-03.
  7. ^ "North American Migration Flyways". 2017-03-16. Archived from the original on 2017-03-16. Retrieved 2018-06-03.

External links[edit]