© David Tipling

14 stunning photos of birds making incredible journeys across the Earth

In the book Flights of Passage, writer Mike Unwin and wildlife photographer David Tipling explore the fascinating subject of bird migration.

Every year, millions of birds make incredible journeys across the planet, spanning continents and flying for months on end. We’re used to birds migrating over winter to head towards warmer climes, but we don’t often stop to think about how remarkable this really is.

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How does the arctic tern travel from its arctic breeding grounds to its summer home in the Antarctic? And how does the swift stay in the air for ten months at a time?

Writer Mike Unwin and wildlife photographer David Tipling explore this fascinating subject in Flights of Passage, looking into the science behind this bizarre behaviour, accompanied by photos of 67 different species.

Take a look at these stunning photos from the book.

All photos © David Tipling.

Puffin with fish

Puffin (Fratercula arctica) with a beakful of fish in June, Inner Farne, Farne Islands, Northumberland, UK.

Albatross pair

Wandering Albatross (Diomeda exulans) pair displaying on Albatross Island in Bay of Isles, South Georgia Island.

Sandgrouse

Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata) drinking at pool in July, Belchite, Aragon, Spain.

Puffin

Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica) in June, Shetland Islands, UK.

Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica) in June, Shetland Islands, UK.

Osprey

Osprey (Panion haliaetus), in July, Scottish Highlands, UK.

Turtle doves

Turtle Doves (Streptopelia turtur) fighting, in June, Norfolk, UK.

Purple Martin

Purple Martin (Progne subis) at purple martin colony, Cape May New Jersey, USA.

Snow geese

Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens) at dawn in winter, Bosque del Apache, New Mexico, USA.

Lesser flamingos

Lesser Flamingos (Phoenicopterus minor) on Lake Nakuru, Kenya.

Wandering albatross

Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans), Southern Ocean in November, near South Georgia Island.

King Eider and Common Eider sea ducks

King Eiders (Somateria spectabilis) and Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima) in March, in Varanger Fjord, Norway.

Emperor penguin family

Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) family, Weddell Sea, Antarctica.

Sandhill cranes

Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) on roosting pond at dawn in November, Bosque Del Apache, New Mexico, USA.

Emperor penguins

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Emperor Penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) adults returning to colony across sea ice of the Weddell Sea, Antarctica.

Flights of Passage: An Illustrated Natural History of Bird Migration is out on 28 April (£30, Yale University Press).

Flights of Passage: An Illustrated Natural History of Bird Migration is out on 28 April (£30, Yale University Press).