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.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Migratory Connectivity Project: Songbirds Return to North America

The Migratory Connectivity Project seeks to connect people and cultures throughout the Americas by fostering the public’s love of and appreciation for migratory birds

Saturday 4 July 2015 16.35 BSTLast modified on Monday 6 July 201516.48 BST

Did you know the coast of Texas is a critically important place for migratory birds in the U.S. and Canada? This is where most migratory birds that breed in the eastern United States and throughout Canada first make landfall after a long migration across the Gulf of Mexico. This is where they seek food, water and rest before continuing northward on their migratory journeys.

But unfortunately, populations of North American migratory birds are declining, and in many cases, scientists aren’t exactly sure why. The Migratory Connectivity Project, a collaboration between the US Geological Survey bird banding lab and Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, is devoted to better understanding the migratory patterns of North American birds so they can learn how to protect them. They do this by analysing USGS bird band recovery data and using this data to construct migratory connectivity maps for all birds breeding in North America. Here’s a preliminary map for the tree swallow, Tachycineta bicolor:

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