Birds

BIRD MIGRATION BREAKTHROUGH
12:07 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Cornell Scientists Find Small Birds Use Wind Patterns for Looping Migration Routes

Blackpoll Warblers were one of the first species found to fly a different migration route in fall than in spring. The new research shows that many more songbird species migrate in similar elliptical, clockwise routes.
Credit Brian Sullivan

There's been somewhat of a breakthrough by researchers at Cornell University's lab of ornithology who have a better idea of just how small songbirds migrate.   Scientists have known for over a century that waterfowl like geese and ducks tend to follow the same, narrow migration paths.    But after combing through years of crowd-sourcing data, scientists can now say the travel habits of tiny land-based birds follow less-defined flyways, and instead depend on wind patterns.  LaSorte says until now, the migration of small songbirds was mostly speculation.

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