Blackpoll Migration

In a collaborative project with Dr. Sara R. Morris, Dr. Phil Taylor, and Jason Jacobs, we use banding data from across North America to characterize Blackpoll Warbler migration patterns during both spring and fall. 

The Blackpoll Warbler is an especially interesting species to study because the route it takes during the fall takes birds over the Atlantic Ocean starting from the Northeastern US directly to the eastern Antilles or eastern South America. This route requires great feats of non-stop over-water flight and differs greatly from its primarily continental route during spring migration. It is said that Blackpolls make the longest migratory journey of any North American songbird.

        On the autumn migration of the Blackpoll Warbler:
                    "For a man the metabolic equivalent would 
be to run four-minute miles for 80 hours"

                                            "If a Blackpoll Warbler were burning gasoline 
instead of its reserves body fat, it could coast 
of getting 720,000 miles to the gallon!"

Range map from the Boreal Songbird Initiative (                                        ~Williams and Williams, 1978, Scientific American 

Check out our paper studying the fall migration patterns of Blackpolls across North America!