As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday 10 August 2014

Migrating birds map routes to prevent interbreeding?

Genes may lead migrating birds to take particular routes to their destination that could prevent interbreeding, suggests a study that tracked hybrids between songbird species.

Using geolocators that, like GPS, record the position of a bird and allow its long distance movement to be tracked, the researchers found that migration routes may be under genetic control and could be a factor preventing interbreeding.

"This is the first time we have been able to track songbirds over the entire annual cycle, and the data we collected supports a longstanding hypothesis in ecological speciation that differences in migratory behaviour could be acting as post-mating reproductive isolating barriers," said lead author Kira Delmore from University of British Columbia in Canada.

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