Thursday, May 3, 2018
Warbler Guy, does the spring Blackpoll Warbler migration distance equal its long distance trek in the fall?
Yes, Amy (in Baton Rouge), for some populations, Blackpoll’s north and southward migration routes are likely the longest of all wood-warbler family members.
In the spring, populations travel north over the Gulf of Mexico before reaching the USA. Some eventually reach as far north as Alaska where they nest.
The well-noted 2,150 autumn migration distance some New England Blackpoll partake in the autumn as trans-ocean migrants is a breathtaking marvel.
Seventy-two to 90 continuous hours of migration over the ocean by a half-ounce bird seems an impossible feat. But imagine the current spring-time migrants (see graphic, courtesy of the borealbirds.org and the map created by eNature, which is supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts). Some travel 100-150 miles per night, with some doing so for weeks and eventually reaching Alaska after beginning their path in n. South America. Equally awe-inspiring, correct?