Updated: Sep 1
Aug 16, 2021
The Chiffchaff is one of many migratory bird species that nests in Europe and winters in Africa.
IBCP scientists made three presentations on migratory birds at the American Ornithological Society meeting in August, 2021. Samuel Boakye Yiadom, a graduate of Ghana’s University for Development Studies, presented results from his collaborating research documenting, “Arrival time and habitat use of migratory birds wintering in northern Ghana, West Africa.” Many birds who nest in Europe travel thousands of miles each year to winter in West Africa, but few studies document their winter ecology. As one of these few, Samuel’s work represents an important step towards conserving these species during a poorly understood part of their lives.
Kristen Rosamond, IBCP’s inaugural Rose Fellow and now a new PhD student at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, presented her study, “Not singing in the rain: linking migratory songbird declines with increasing precipitation and brood parasitism vulnerability.” Kristen investigated the effects of increasing rainfall associated with climate change and its effects on grassland specialists, dickcissels (Spiza americana), who nest in North America and winter mainly in Venezuela, as well as brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater), migratory songbirds who lay their eggs in the nests of dickcissels and other songbirds.
Finally, Nico Arcilla presented a collaborative study with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, “Is hay for the birds? Investigating landowner willingness to time hay harvests for grassland bird conservation.” They surveyed landowners in the Nebraska Sandhills and found that the majority were willing to delay harvesting hay from grasslands they owned in order to allow grassland birds time to nest successfully, providing some much-needed good news for migratory birds who depend on people’s protection to live and thrive.