9 posts tagged with migration and birds.
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Why do migrating birds fly in a V formation?

"It was always assumed that V-formation flight was learned from the adult birds. But these guys are all the same age and they learned to fly from a human in a microlight. They learned V-formation flying from each other. National Geographic reports on some of the fascinating intricacies of the V formation observed in migrating birds.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Sep 21, 2014 - 28 comments

Charting climate change and local loss of flora from Thoreau's journals

From 1851 to 1858, Henry David Thoreau noted a number of natural occurrences in detail, including the first flowering dates for over 500 species of wildflowers in Concord. Additionally, Alfred Hosmer, a botanist in the same area, had recorded the flowering dates of over 600 species of wild plants in 1878 and from 1888 to 1902. With that data, Richard Primack, a biology professor at Boston University, and fellow researcher Abraham Miller-Rushing spent years aligning old plant names with current names to study the change flowering patterns from the recorded past to present. Their phenological study concluded that plants in Concord, on average, are now flowering 10 days earlier than they were in Thoreau's time (full article for the journal BioScience). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 25, 2014 - 3 comments

An irruption of owls

Snowy owls are irrupting across the upper Midwest and down the East Coast as far as the Carolinas in what could be the largest such irruption in at least 20 years. They're here because there were a lot of lemmings in the Arctic last year, and so snowy owls made a lot of snowy owls. This year? Not so many lemmings, and so many of them have come south in search of food. [more inside]
posted by rtha on Jan 24, 2014 - 50 comments

Operation Migration

Operation Migration has helped endangered bird species migrate by leading the way with ultralight aircraft. At the moment you can see a live video of them in flight.
posted by exogenous on Nov 29, 2013 - 6 comments

Pluck

Prior to their southward migration, the godwits eat up large, until up to 55 per cent of their body weight is fat. They then reduce the size of their gut, kidney and liver by up to 25 per cent to compensate for the added weight. Godwits are amazing migratory shorebirds who travel many thousands of miles at a go. Here's a brief documentary of people studying them (12 minutes on youtube + ad, shows invasive surgery). Here's some science on their flights (creative commons). [more inside]
posted by aniola on Apr 1, 2013 - 6 comments

No birds were (physically) harmed in the making of these dramatic videos.

An estimated 10,000 migratory birds whose flight path took them through Manhattan earlier this month became (temporarily) disoriented and trapped in the 88-searchlight glare of the 9/11 Tribute in Light memorial.
posted by oinopaponton on Sep 17, 2010 - 45 comments

Migrating Birds and Oil Platforms

Interactions between migrating birds and offshore oil and gas platforms in the northern Gulf of Mexico (PDF, 5.9MB). A scientific but engrossing look at bird migration over the Gulf of Mexico, describing, in part, death by starvation of migrants who have metabolized all their bodily fat, “overshoots” that inadvertently travel past their intended destinations and find themselves unexpectedly over water at first light, and a suggestion that peregrine falcons not only recovered from near extinction due to the presence of oil platforms in the Gulf, but that they may eventually establish a breeding population on the Gulf platform archipelago. Summary. Full report (PDF, 5.9 MB).
posted by Mo Nickels on Sep 22, 2005 - 9 comments

Since 1996, The Osprey Project has been re-introducing the osprey into the United Kingdom, and since 1999 has been tracking its migrations, which stretch as far south as Senegal, and can include marathon stretches of open-ocean flight.

Oh, and sometimes they even make it Back.
posted by apostasy on May 9, 2002 - 1 comment

Why Birds Fly in a 'V'.

Why Birds Fly in a 'V'. And I thought it was because they liked the view.
posted by MeetMegan on Oct 23, 2001 - 29 comments

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