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Tracking migrant songbirds with stable isotopes

Kelly, Jeffrey F.; Finch, Deborah M. 1998. Tracking migrant songbirds with stable isotopes. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 13(2): 48-49.

Migration is a fundamental aspect of avian biology and one of the most astounding phenomena in the natural world. In North America alone there are approximately 350 species of land birds that migrate seasonally. Most of these species weigh considerably less than 50 g and travel thousands of kilometers twice annually. Migratory biology has attracted and, in no small measure, frustrated generations of ornithologists. Much of the frustration can be traced to a simple source - namely, it is very difficult to study an individual migrating bird for any appreciable time or distance. Traditional tracking techniques, such as radio-telemetry and banding, are largely inadequate when applied to small birds that travel large distances in short time periods.

Keywords: migration, songbirds, tracking, stable isotopes

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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Tracking migrant songbirds with stable isotopes
Electronic Publish Date: July 16, 2010
Last Update:
July 16, 2010

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