Shown in yellow, the main belt of migrating passeriforms and some raptors in the Belluno area. (Drawing by F. Padovan)

     Birds can be divided into two groups: resident throughout the year (e.g. sparrows) and migrant (e.g. mallard ducks). “Resident” means they donot leave their place of birth, whereas “migrant” refers to birds which nest and rear their young in temperate or colder areas, then take long journeys to spend the winter in warmer countries and better feeding grounds, returning to their place of origin the following spring.
     Why are there so many birds in the Museum? The area round Belluno is crossed by the migratory routes of many birds on their long journeys: in the autumn (between the end of August and the end of November) on the outward journey, and in the spring (between the end of February and the end of April) on the way back.
     Migrating birds, in particular night and day time raptors and passeriforms that come from the north and north-east and fly over the Alps, Pre-Alps and the foothills of the Friuli region. They then fly through the passes of Val Visdende, Cima Sappada, Passo della Mauria and increasingly across the Cansiglio area, near Monte Pizzoc. Then they take the direction of Col Visentin and the Piave valley, passing near Feltre going towards Arsié-Lamon and on to the Valsugana.

Map of Italy showing birds’ principal migratory routes. The Province of Belluno is marked in grey. (Drawing by I. Fossa)