re YFHE and long-distance migration of a small song bird

To: <>
Subject: re YFHE and long-distance migration of a small song bird
From: "Chris Davey" <>
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 2015 21:50:56 +1000



With all of the discussion on the chat-line about the YFHE migration Leo Joseph (Director, Australian National Wildlife Collection)
has kindly sent me an Abstract to distribute for those interested in the subject of small birds migrating great distances.


Unfortunately, as so often happens these days, we have the appalling situation where you have to pay to see the actual paper but I do have a copy for those interested!





DeLuca WV, et al. 2015 Transoceanic migration by a 12 g songbird. Biology Letters 11: 20141045


Many fundamental aspects of migration remain a mystery, largely due to our inability to follow small animals over vast spatial areas. For more than 50 years, it has been hypothesized that, during autumn migration, blackpoll warblers (Setophaga striata) depart northeastern North America and undertake a non-stop flight over the Atlantic Ocean to either the Greater Antilles or the northeastern coast of South America. Using miniaturized light-level geolocators, we provide the first irrefutable evidence that the blackpoll warbler, a 12 g boreal forest songbird, completes an autumn transoceanic migration ranging from 2270 to 2770 km (mean+s.d.: 2540+257) and requiring up to 3 days (62 h+10) of non-stop flight. This is one of the longest non-stop overwater flights recorded for a songbird and confirms what has long been believed to be one of the most extraordinary migratory feats on the planet.


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