(noun) A bird that spends the summer in its breeding range in North America but migrates to Central or South America for its nonbreeding range in winter. The winter range may also include the Caribbean, and the general dividing line between breeding and nonbreeding ranges is the Tropic of Cancer at 23 degrees north latitude, though the entire range does not need to be either north or south of that division for the bird to be considered a neotropical migrant.
More than 200 species of birds are considered neotropical migrants, including at least a few species in most bird families. Many warblers, hummingbirds and shorebirds are neotropical migratory birds, as are some hawks and many other songbirds.
The exact distance and route of migration between breeding and nonbreeding ranges varies for each species, and migration time between the separate ranges may take anywhere from just a few weeks to several months. It is essential to conserve habitat not only in the birds' different ranges, but also along principle migratory flyways so birds will have sufficient feeding and resting areas to successfully complete their journeys.
Photo – Yellow Warbler © Laura Gooch
Neotropical Migratory Bird