Frequent Fliers: Arboretum speaker to discuss songbird migration research

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Bird watchers, nature lovers and wildlife scientists have an opportunity to hear author and avian researcher Bridget Stutchbury describe her research on songbird migration during a talk at 5 p.m. on April 5 in 112 Forest Resources Building on Penn State's University Park campus.

Stutchbury will discuss the results of her studies tracking the migration of purple martins, wood thrush and other species, and how this knowledge can help to save songbirds. The presentation is sponsored by The Arboretum at Penn State Avian Education Program and the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management.

Since the 1980s, Stutchbury has followed songbirds on their 6,000-mile trip from their breeding grounds in North America to their wintering grounds in Latin America and back to understand their behavior, ecology and conservation. Dozens of species have experienced serious, long-term population declines that are driven in part by the threats that these birds face on migration and while in the tropics. Her latest research uses "geolocators" — mini-computers that can be attached to a bird — to track the birds' amazing journey.

Wood thrush songbird

Wood thrush

Image: Lang Elliott (courtesy of Bridget Stutchbury)

Stutchbury is a professor of biology at York University, Toronto. After completing her master's degree at Queen's University and her doctorate at Yale, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution.

She is the author of "Silence of the Songbirds" (2007), "The Private Lives of Birds" (2010), and "The Bird Detective" (2010). In 2015, she was featured in the documentary, "The Messenger," which explored the causes of alarming declines in the populations of migratory songbird species.

Admission to the presentation is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the presentation, and attendees are welcome to bring copies of Stutchbury's books for signing by the author.

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Last Updated March 30, 2017