Swallows return in spring, and geese come with fall. They have long been visiting Korea as the season changes.They are commonly known as the “messenger of newseasons” for us but their own appearance and wandering life also represents their fierce way to survive.Birds are telling us so many things that are as diverse as their looks and as many as people on this planet. Nevertheless,the one thing that will never change is that we should coexist together.The special exhibition “Migrants in the Sky” is designed to present the importance of migratory birds visiting Korea along with their diversity and lifestyle. 

With the Seasonal Change
The seasonal migration of birds is the product of their instinct to find an area rich in food resources and adapt to changes in temperature for years. Korea has four seasons and temperate climate. As the seasons change, the living organisms that birds feed on undergo many changes as well.

Blue-and-White Flycatcher
(Cyanoptila cyanomelana)

Naumann's Thrush
(Turdus Naumanni)

Summer, a Season of Festivals
With nature at its most abundant, Korea turns into a festive breeding ground for migratory birds from spring to summer. Forests, wetlands and shores also become rich in food resources for the birds as they keep busy all day finding their mates, building nests, incubating eggs and rearing their chicks. From passerine birds to raptors, many kinds of birds find forests their home. There are sufficient food like larva, fruits, or small animals for raising their chicks, as well as many branches and shadow to hide from the natural enemies.

Great Spotted Woodpecker
(Dendrocopos major)

Great Crested Grebe
(Podiceps cristatus)

They are excellent divers with fancy feathers on the back of their necks in summer.

Peregrine Falcon
(Falco peregrinus)

Summer visitors

Ruddy Kingfisher
(Halcyon coromanda)

Common Moorhen
(Gallinula chloropus)

Little Tern
(Sterna albifrons)

A Precious Stopover Site during their Long Journey
In spring and autumn, Korea provides good places to rest for many migratory birds that breed in far northern regions of Korea and fly southward for winter. In general, these birds are known to travel a surprisingly long distance; waders, for example, fly over 10,000km in one season. It is therefore critical for the birds to have stopover sites that provide resting places and forages. Remote islands in the sea and tidal flats along the west coast of the Korean Peninsula are precious stopover sites for those migratory birds.

Passage migrants

Eastern Curlew
(Numenius madagascariensis)

Bar-tailed Godwit
(Limosa lapponica)

Whimbrel
(Numenius phaeopus)

Common Redshank
(Tringa totanus)

Pin-tailed Snipe
(Gallinago stenura)

Pacific Golden Plover
(Pluvialis fulva)

Olive-backed Pipit
(Anthus hodgsoni)

Resting Places for Winter Visitors
While Korea's winter may seem uninviting to anyone for its prolonged chill, some birds travel to this land during those months for its relative warmth. Over the frozen lakes and rivers, in the seemingly barren fields, and on the bare branches of trees, migratory birds of all shapes and sizes can be spotted across the Peninsula, as they settle down and search for food until it is time to return to their breeding grounds in the north.

Oriental Stork
(Ciconia boyciana)

Great Cormorant
(Phalacrocorax carbo)

Mandarin Duck
(Aix galericulata)

Baikal Teal
(Anas formosa)

Bean Goose
(Anser fabalis)

Whooper Swan
(Cygnus cygnus)

Mute Swan
(Cygnus olor)

One of the most distinct characteristics that makes birds different from other animals is that they have
feathers. The feathers aid in maintenance of shape and color, water proofing, thermal insulation and
most importantly, flight. Feathers are categorized into remiges, rectrices, contour feathers, filoplumes, down feathers and powder feathers.

Baikal Teal
(Anas formosa)


One of the most distinct characteristics that makes birds different from other animals is that they have
feathers. The feathers aid in maintenance of shape and color, water proofing, thermal insulation and most importantly, flight. Feathers are categorized into remiges, rectrices, contour feathers, filoplumes, down feathers and powder feathers.

Lady Amherst's Pheasant
(Chrysolophus amherstiae)

Indian Peafowl
(Pavo cristatus)

Tufted Puffin
(Fratercula cirrhata)

Tufted Puffin was collected near Duman River, Hamgyeongbuk-do in 1933 for the first time in Korea. The first specimen is currently stored in The Museum of Nature and Human Activity, Hyogo, Japan.
The Tufted Puffin here was rescued in Gochang, Jeollabuk-do in June, 2014. After its death, National Institute of Biological Resources made it into the specimen. This is the only mounted specimen of Tufted Puffin in Korea.

Types and process of migratory birds research
Migratory birds research mainly focuses on migration, community and ecology. After designing research plans, a study goes on both in the field and in the laboratory. All the researches are based on the field study, and then collected data are analyzed in the laboratory.

There are two types of bird specimens; study skin and mounted skin. Study skins are simple forms made by researchers. They are suitable forms for storage and research. In comparison, mounted skins are made for display and education so usually in postures as if they are alive.

The eyes of birds displayed here are artificial eyes. When a bird dies, its eyes are the first to lose its shape and color. So artificial eyes are used when making mounted specimens. The black part of the artificial eyes is the pupil, and the colored area around it is iris. Every bird has unique iris colors and patterns, and even the same species have different iris colors between adult and juvenile.

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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