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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

"It turns out being the early bird really does have its advantages".........." A new study shows that migrating birds fly faster and put more effort into staying on course in spring than in fall, racing to arrive to their breeding grounds as soon as possible to get an edge in raising the next generation"............."Will their ability to adjust their migratory behavior for different conditions alsol buffer them against the effects of climate change?"

Migrating birds speed up in spring

September 7, 2016
Central Ornithology Publication Office

Migrating songbirds like Baltimore orioles travel faster in
 spring to reach their breeding grounds on time.
Credit: K. Horton
Migrating birds travel faster in spring than in fall because arriving late to their breeding grounds can affect their reproductive success. Past studies have shown that migrants take shorter breaks in spring, but it's harder to tell whether they also move faster in the air. When they used high-tech weather surveillance radars operated by NOAA and the Department of Defense on migrating birds, Kyle Horton of the University of Oklahoma and his colleagues found that birds did indeed fly faster in spring and compensated more for crosswinds that could blow them off course.
"Many migration studies look at a few individuals, maybe on the scale of hundreds, but with radar, we're now documenting the behaviors of millions of individuals on a given night. That's a lot of data, and when you do see flight behavior results that are regionally or seasonally different, it's quite compelling," says Horton. He hopes birds' ability to adjust their migratory behavior for different conditions will buffer them against the effects climate change, which may cause large-scale shifts in wind intensity.
This study made use of recent upgrades to government radar stations. "In 2013 an additional plane of polarization was added to the radars, giving us another dimension to look at migratory birds, among other things," explains Horton. "This allowed us to measure the orientation of birds directly for the first time."
"Horton et al. have tapped the great potential of large-scale surveillance radars to advance our understanding of migration ecology," adds the University of Delaware's Jeff Buler, a radar ecology expert who was not involved in the study. "Their novel analysis reveals macroscale patterns in the aggregate behaviors of migrating birds that support existing literature on flight strategies of migrants. In addition, their analysis makes new discoveries about greater overall wind compensation during spring and new hypotheses about the processes underlying these patterns."

Story Source:
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Central Ornithology Publication Office.

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