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How much do you know about bird migration?

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How much do you know about bird migration?

Postby Kay » Mon 31 Oct 2016 11:26 GMT

Try the latest BE quiz and find out!

I scored 5/5 - obviously - because I knew the answers before I wrote the questions. :twisted:

Go on, have a go. It's interesting even if it's not your specialist subject. Let us know how you get on.

http://britishexpat.com/leisure/trivia/ ... migration/
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Re: How much do you know about bird migration?

Postby Graeme » Sat 12 Nov 2016 00:01 GMT

I recently found out that some crows migrate in Canada. The Canadian Prairie crows tend to head south to the middle USA during the winter and return early springtime; the crows where I live (western Canada) don't migrate at all. It seems odd that one species has subspecies who demonstrate different behaviours to the rest, I wonder if that is a learned response to winter or a genetically inbred thing?
Just a weird thing I found out this week.
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Re: How much do you know about bird migration?

Postby Dave » Sun 13 Nov 2016 22:23 GMT

How does the climate vary, Graeme? If (as I imagine) it's milder at the west, then the local crows probably don't have the need to migrate. Broadly speaking, it's the same with swans in Europe and north-western Asia - the ones that live in western and southern Europe don't migrate, but the ones in northern Europe and NW Asia fly south and west for the winter to N Africa.

It seems to be something to do with availability of food during the colder months. But whether it's a learned response or an inbred thing is another matter. Judging by the studies of butterfly migrations across North America - which follow a cycle that covers the lifespan of several butterflies, so no single butterfly completes the whole circuit - it looks as if it's at least partly hereditary. As you say: weird!
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Re: How much do you know about bird migration?

Postby Graeme » Tue 15 Nov 2016 04:17 GMT

There is definately a climate difference; the prairie winters are colder and longer than the western coast, even the interior of the western cordillera isn't as cold as the prairies. It would be interesting to take a few crows from the interior and take them to the prairies and see if they migrated with the rest, conversely (and maybe a little less cruel) would be to bring prairie crows here and see if they still tried to migrate.
That's fascinating about the butterflies, I wonder how the migration is encoded genetically if it is genetic. I think we still have a lot more to learn about this amazing planet.
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