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Subject:Re: corrections to migration article
From:Matt Dufort <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Matt Dufort <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 12 Apr 2010 16:16:02 -0500

Hi Gordon and others,

I appreciate you sending this, even if the photo doesn't match up (I 
agree that it's not a Blackcap).  Please keep sending the little science 

I think this story is a bit different from the news about Blackcap 
migration that came out a few months ago.  This one is about populations 
of Blackcaps migrating shorter and shorter distances, until they might 
stop migrating entirely and become resident.  The story that came out 
several months ago was about a split in one breeding population, where 
some birds migrated to Spain in the fall, and others migrated to the 
British Isles.

One of the reasons there are a lot of papers on migration that involve 
Blackcaps is that Blackcaps are one of the very few species where the 
evolution of migration has been studied experimentally.  Peter Berthold, 
one of the authors on this recent paper, has done experiments with 
captive populations of Blackcaps in the lab.  By selectively breeding 
individuals that had strong or weak migratory tendencies, he showed that 
individual variation in migratory behavior is inherited (at least 
partially) - when he picked birds that migrated less and mated them, 
their offspring migrated less.  He also showed that migration and lack 
of migration can evolve very quickly (at least in this species).

Matt Dufort

Gordon wrote:
> First the migration article is about blackcaps in Europe, not blackpolls.  I
> should have looked at the article again. (I may be thinking of blackpolls at
> this time.) Second, the photo appears to be a Nashville warbler.  It is not
> a blackcap.  Even right clicking the image for "properties" says "blackcap".
> There is careless journalism and better journalism.  wiredscience doesn't
> not seem reliable re bird study.   I think sciencenews or sciencedaily ran
> this summary story several months ago re change in blackcap migration
> (sorry to consume your electrons and your time).  
>   _____  
> From: Gordon [] 
> Sent: Sunday, April 11, 2010 8:41 PM
> Subject: a couple articles about bird migration (blackpolls in Europe) and
> pigeon navigation
> est_navigator_take_the_lead
> ----
> Join or Leave mou-net:
> Archives:

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