Songbirds fly faster than scientists thought they did
–two to three times faster, in fact! A researcher from York University in Toronto outfitted wood thrushes and purple martins with miniature geolocators and tracked them as they migrated. The geolocators work by detecting light, which allows scientists to estimate the latitude and longitude where the data was recorded.
Scientists found that the birds fly two to six times faster during their spring return journey than in fall. One purple martin flew from Brazil to back to its breeding colony in the United States in only 13 days!
Find out more about the songbird study on National Geographic News.
Learn about tiny bee backpacks in this News Bite.
Large photograph courtesy Timothy J. Morton
Inset photograph courtesy Bridget J. Stutchbury