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Tuesday, January 26 • 4:40pm - 5:00pm
Geolocators Provide Valuable Information On The Kirtland’s Warbler’s Wintering Ground Distribution and Migration Pathway

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AUTHORS: Nathan W. Cooper, Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute; Chris Mensing*, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service East Lansing Field Office; Daniel Elbert, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Newport Field Office; Sarah Rockwell, Klamath Bird Observatory; Nora Diggs, Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute; Peter P. Marra, Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

ABSTRACT: For many migratory birds, including the endangered Kirtland’s warbler, considerable work has been done on the breeding grounds to determine population size, nesting habitat requirements, and survivorship. Significant gaps remain, however, in our understanding of the Kirtland’s warbler full annual cycle, especially their non-breeding distribution, migration routes and migratory connectivity. New technological advances are beginning to help researchers visualize the continental scale movements of small-bodied, long-distance migratory songbirds. One of these new technologies, light-level geolocators, measure light intensity and duration (sunrise/sunset) over time. These data can be analyzed to estimate migration routes and wintering locations. In 2012 and 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s East Lansing Field Office and the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center partnered together to deploy 84 geolocators on male Kirtland’s warblers. Results from the recovered geolocators are providing valuable information on migration routes, migratory connectivity, and the wintering distribution. These results will help identify new potential wintering ground locations, assess potential threats throughout the full annual cycle, and inform future priority recovery actions.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 4:40pm - 5:00pm EST
Vandenberg A