E. GWINNER! The phenomenon of bird migration with its large scale dimensions has attracted the attention of naturalists for centuries. Worldwide billions of birds leave their breeding grounds every autumn to migrate to areas with seasonally more favor able conditions. Many of these migrants travel only over a few hundred kilo meters but others cover distances equivalent to the circumference of the earth. Among these long-distance migrants are several billion birds that invade Africa every autumn from their West and Central Palaearctic breeding areas. In the Americas and in Asia the scope of bird migration is of a similar magnitude. Just as impressive as the numbers of birds are their achievements. They have to cope with the enormous energetic costs of long-distance flying. particularly while crossing oceans and deserts that do not allow replenishment of depleted fat reserves. They have to appropriately time the onset and end of migrations. both on a daily and annual basis. And finally. they have to orient their migratory movements in space to reach their species- or population-specific wintering and breeding grounds, irrespective of the variable climatic conditions along their migratory routes.