At the interface of land and sea, mangroves comprise a wide array of unique habitats and support diverse terrestrial, estuarine, and marine species. Below the water, the long, tangled roots of mangroves are important breeding grounds for many species of fish and above the water the trees are home to many species of bird. Mangroves are prime nesting and resting sites for hundreds of shorebirds and migratory bird species, including kingfishers, herons, and egrets.

Bird migration is the regular seasonal movement, often with birds moving north and south along flyways, between breeding and wintering grounds. One in five species of bird migrates, from the tiny rufous hummingbird which migrates up and down the North American continent, to the Arctic tern which migrates from pole to pole.

Species follow set routes that include suitable habitats where they can stop to rest and refuel along the way. Many of these routes include stopovers in mangroves which are fantastic sites offering protection and abundant food sources for migratory birds. Mangroves in the Indus Delta in Pakistan are the ultimate destination for thousands of migratory birds that voyage along the “Indus Flyway”, one of the seven globally important bird migratory routes. The mangrove forest of the Rufiji Delta in Tanzania is an important site for migratory wetland birds, such as curlew sandpipers, crab plovers, and Caspian terns.


This brilliant photo by Jason-Marc Mohamed shows Scarlet ibises and American Flamingoes in the mangroves of Trinidad and Tobago