By Lewisboro Ledger on July 19, 2014
The Bedford Audubon Society is joining forces with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, National Audubon’s International Alliances Program, and Forsyth Audubon in North Carolina for an innovative research effort to discover why wood thrush numbers are down more than 50% in the past 40 years, according to a press release.
The wood thrush’s flute-like song has long been considered a harbinger of spring in eastern forests, but the sweet tune is becoming rarer each year.
National Audubon identified the wood thrush as a priority species for conservation in 2012, largely due to a steady population decline at a rate of almost 2% each year since the mid-1960s.
Wood thrushes are neotropical migrants; they breed in the Northeast, but winter in Central America. In order to track the migratory movement of wood thrushes, Audubon teams in North Carolina and New York deployed 44 lightweight geolocators on adult male wood thrushes. The geolocators will record 50 waypoints of fall migration, overwintering, and their return north to their breeding grounds in the spring. An additional allotment of geolocators will be deployed in Minnesota this summer.