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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

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

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

National Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is birdy at any time of year. But in winter, this mixture of cypress swamp and pineland comes alive with migratory songbirds. On a warm, sunny morning, birds are active all around, from the tops of the tall cypresses to the shrubs along the boardwalk.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Blackpoll Warbler Migration

Blackpoll Warblers make the longest migration of any North American songbird, an annual round trip of eleven to twelve thousand miles. In August, the warblers leave Western Alaska and head east across Canada to the Maritime Provinces and the coast of New England. Then, the tiny songbirds fly over... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Montana Grassland Birds - Where They Go in Winter

Some of the most extensive grasslands on the continent remain in Northeast Montana. In winter, these lands lie under windblown snow. But in summer, the grass is verdant and grassland birds abound. Birds such as the McCown's Longspur, the Lark Bunting, and the Willet, like this one. And where do... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

The Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper - With Gerrit Vyn

Gerrit Vyn of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology recorded the Spoon-billed Sandpiper in the far northeast of Russia, where as few as 100 remaining pairs breed each summer. This sandpiper depends on key coastal wetlands near the Yellow Sea to fuel the long-distance migration to its wintering areas.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  human interaction, migration, nesting

Tracking Migrating Birds

Two-thirds of migrating birds fly at night, making it a challenge to track their movement. Dr. Andrew Farnsworth of Cornell is using a combination of bioacoustics and radar to learn when birds migrate and where they stop, feed, and rest. The acoustics tell what species are migrating at night and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Sandhill Cranes Wait Out the Storm

At the fall equinox, gillnetter Misha Noonan would often get stuck at the far east end of the Copper River Delta, waiting out the storms. Once the storms were so unrelenting, that not only were fishermen unable to return to Cordova, but Sandhill Cranes were unable to proceed with their southeast... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

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