The Blackpoll Warbler, a tiny song bird that remains in northern North America in summer season has been tracked along a 1,700 mile journey across the ocean.
Tiny Blackpoll Warbler Travels 1700 Miles Across The Ocean.
The long journey starts from northeastern United States and eastern Canada toward the Caribbean. It was basically a part of their winter migration to South America as the new study shows. Scientists had long suspected that the bird traveled all the way to the Caribbean over the ocean but this is the first ever study to prove that. Scientists attached tracking devices to the birds in the summer of 2013 and the results were published in the journal Biology Letters.
“It is such a spectacular, astounding feat that this half-an-ounce bird can make what is obviously a perilous, highly risky journey over the open ocean,” said Chris Rimmer of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, one of the authors. “Now maybe that will help us focus attention on what could be driving these declines,” Rimmer said.
Andrew Farnsworth is a research associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and he specializes in migration biology and wasn’t involved in the study. He said that by knowing how the blackpoll warblers migrate will help scientists know more about the implications of climate change.
“What happens if birds aren’t able to fuel sufficiently to make this kind of flight because of habitat fragmentation and habitat loss in New England or the Canadian Maritimes?” Farnsworth said. “How much energy do they need and if they don’t get it, what happens?”
There are a number of birds that fly long distances over water but this warbler is different because it lives in forests. Mostly other birds fly across Mexico and Central America.
In the summer of 2013, scientists attached devices to 19 blackpolls on Vermont’s Mount Mansfield and 18 in Nova Scotia. They succeeded to recapture a few of them.