Frequent Fliers: New Discoveries in Bird Migration

Bridget Stutchbury: Professor, York University, Ontario

Each fall, billions of songbirds leave North America on an epic journey to their far-away wintering grounds in Central and South America where many live in tropical forests shared by toucans, howler monkeys and jaguars. Dozens of species have experienced serious, long-term population declines that are driven in part by the threats that these birds face during migration and while in the tropics or on their northern breeding grounds. Only recently has it been possible to track the entire migration of individual songbirds to find out how they accomplish their amazing 10,000 km (or more!) round trip and to map out critical habitats used during migration. Dr. Stutchbury reveals her surprising migration tracking results for Purple Martins and Wood Thrushes and discuss how this research can help us save songbirds.