‘We think that these behaviors represent a previously unknown cognitive ability …’
FRISCO — Some migrating birds may be able to sense weather patterns on a hemispheric scale, helping them optimally time their nonstop transoceanic flights.
Bar-tailed godwits, the ultra-marathon champions of migration, breed in Alaska and spend winters in New Zealand and a recent U.S. Geological Survey-led study suggests that these birds can sense broad weather patterns.
Careful monitoring of the birds suggest they time their departure to match the best possible atmospheric wind conditions possible within a two-week window. Remarkably, not only were the conditions optimal for take-off, but they almost always provided the best possible conditions for the birds’ entire flights, as far as 7,000 miles in eight days between Alaska and New Zealand.
Earlier nesting and breeding observed in some species
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Some birds are nesting and hatching earlier because of steadily increasing global temperatures, and that may be driving earlier migration in some species according to scientists with the University of East Anglia.
“We have known that birds are migrating earlier and earlier each year … particularly those that migrate over shorter distances,” said Lead researcher Dr. Jenny Gill from UEA’s school of Biological Sciences. “But the reason why has puzzled bird experts for years. It’s a particularly important question because the species which are not migrating earlier are declining in numbers.” Continue reading “How does global warming affects bird migration?”→
GOCO, feds and state pitch in on major conservation deal
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A new conservation easement on the 15,000-acre Tuttle Ranch in Moffat County will help protect important wildlife habitat and winter range while allowing ranching operations to continue.
The ranch encompasses sagebrush steppe, foothills grassland and pinyon-juniper woodlands, with habitat for greater sage-grouse and critical winter range for elk, mule deer and pronghorn.