Swainson’ s Thrushes, from a local population near Bolinas, CA, spend their winters together in Mexico, according to a new tracking study released by Point Blue Conservation Science, (Point Blue, formerly PRBO). This result is important because it shows how the conservation of habitat for these local populations in California is tightly linked with climate and habitat changes in Mexico, where these birds spend their winters, 1,600 miles away.
The Swainson’s Thrush is one of the most melodic of all the songbirds, and can be heard singing now by hikers, walkers, and cyclists enjoying trails near streams throughout the bay area.
Using tiny tags to track a bird’s location, biologists from Point Blue have pinpointed the wintering locations of Swainson’s Thrushes, tracking them from study areas in Marin County to their wintering homes in central Mexico. Published this week in the journal The Auk, the study illustrates the linkages between nesting and breeding locations of migratory birds. Swainson’s Thrushes have lost 95% of available nesting habitat along streams and rivers throughout California. They have also almost completely disappeared from the Sierra, and projections on Point Blue’s "Where Will the Birds be" interactive website (choose bird distribution, then riparian, then Swainson’s Thrush) illustrates that the Swainson ’s Thrush will occur in fewer places in California, given climate change.
Point Blue scientists, working out of the Palomarin Field Station, attached small tags that record day length to breeding Swainson’s Thrushes in Point Reyes National Seashore and in Marin County Open Space District’s Bolinas Lagoon Preserve before they headed south for the winter. When the birds returned the following two springs, 12 tagged birds were safely recaptured, the tags were removed, and the data downloaded to a computer.
“Until now, all we knew was that these birds likely wintered in Mexico or Central America. We’re very excited to finally pinpoint where Swainson’s Thrushes spend the winter,” explained Renée Cormier, an avian ecologist at Point Blue and lead-author of the study.
Swainson’s Thrushes winter across a large area that includes parts of Mexico, Central America, and South America. However, the results of this study show that rather than dispersing across this wide area, Swainson’s Thrushes from a local population winter together in a relatively small area. This result is important because it implies that local conservation of this species in California may be tightly linked with weather patterns and habitat changes in a relatively small portion of the area where they winter.
“We have a good understanding of Swainson’s Thrush breeding ecology and annual survival and more recent studies have begun to shed light on their distribution and survival during the winter period in Mexico and Central America.” explains Dr. T. Luke George of the Colorado State University. “This study is extremely important because it gives us a much better understanding of the links between the breeding and wintering populations and provides important information for conservation throughout the entire life-cycle.”Operating since 1966, Point Blue’s Palomarin Field Station has been one of the premier west-coast locations for long-term studies on birds and their habitats. These data sets that extend over several decades allow scientists to assess human-caused and natural changes over time to guide conservation action in a time of rapid environmental change.
Melissa Pitkin, Education and Outreach Director, (831) 423-8202 ext 307, email@example.com
Renee Cormier | EurekAlert!
Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel
Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology