Thursday, April 09, 2015
The Amazing Blackpoll Warbler!
Sometime during my early years of birding, my mind was blown when I first learned how far birds can fly during migration. Some terns and shorebirds fly thousands of miles to get from one part of the globe to the other, or that Ruby-throated Hummingbirds can fly non-stop across the Gulf of Mexico. Long-distance migration was one of the alluring facts about birds that added to their mystique, appreciation, and respect.
For several decades the fall migration route of the Blackpoll Warbler was hypothesized to cover a substantial portion over the Atlantic Ocean during their journey to northeastern South America. By using miniaturized geolocators, we now have irrefutable evidence that the Blackpoll Warbler is one of the songbird champions of long-distance migration, making a 1,700 non-stop flight. An amazing feat especially when considering this warbler weighs a mere 12 grams!
Link: Biology Letters (PDF)
Link: Article from Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center
Blackpoll Warbler © 2015 Mike McDowell