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migration

Bar-tailed Godwit Migration, Featuring Nils Warnock

During fall migration, a Bar-tailed Godwit like this one will fly over the Pacific Ocean, making a non-stop flight of 7,000 miles from Alaska to New Zealand. These amazing birds can achieve their epic journeys only after fattening up – along the coast of Alaska in fall, or along the Yellow Sea... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Counting a Million Raptors Over Veracruz

A “river of raptors” flows through Veracruz State in eastern Mexico during the month of September. In Living on the Wind, Scott Weidensaul describes his experience counting the birds: “Nothing in a lifetime of birdwatching had prepared me for this spectacle,” he says. “As our sense of numbed... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Evolution of European Blackcaps - Featuring Mike Webster

Nature is evolving constantly. Dr. Mike Webster of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology describes an example of rapid evolution and adaptation from the world of birds. He says the European Blackcap, a species of warbler, used to breed in Germany during the summer and migrate to Spain in the winter. But... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, human interaction, migration

Rufous Hummingbirds Head South

Right now in the Northwest, male Rufous Hummingbirds are heading south. By late July, they will pour into southeastern Arizona on their way to wintering areas in Mexico. The females and their offspring will leave later in the summer, some lingering until mid-September. Along the way, they will... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  citizen science, migration

Shorebirds - Masters of Long-Distance Migration

Dr. Dennis Paulson, BirdNote’s chief science advisor, is an expert on shorebirds. He says new technology is revealing fascinating information about migration routes. (For instance, the alpha-alpha flag, unique to this Whimbrel, tells us the bird was banded in Canada.) For many shorebirds,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, science

Tracking Birds During Migration

It’s more important than ever to map their travels – to learn when birds take flight, where they stop to rest, and what they require for food and shelter along the way. New tools like advanced weather radar, crowdsourcing, and geolocators are helping us learn more about where birds go and when. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, science

Researching High-flying Bar-headed Geese

Twice a year, Bar-headed Geese migrate over the Himalayas, the tallest mountains on the planet. Flying requires ten to twenty times more oxygen than resting. Yet at this altitude, there’s only half to one-third of the oxygen. Animal physiologist Jessica Meir says these amazing birds utilize “a... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, science

A Rufous in the Rain

In a garden near the McKenzie River in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains, a downpour pummels the landscape. Imagine a Rufous Hummingbird, like this male, out and about, extracting nectar, searching for gnats and aphids. A hummingbird's stamina against the heavy rain is marvelous. Consider this: its body... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Savor the Sight of Migrating Birds

In the United States and Canada, International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) is celebrated in May. Justin Pepper of the Audubon Chicago Region shares his insights about this special time of year, when birds like this Blackburnian Warbler are on the move. “It’s awe inspiring to realize that our... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birding, migration

Migration Routes Evolve

Why do birds consistently follow certain routes in their migrations? Pathways of migration evolved, shaped by the wind. During the height of the last ice age, ice-free breeding habitat for songbirds remained in what is now Alaska and parts of Western Canada. Studies of fossil pollen show that... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, science

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