It is estimated that there are over one-and-a-half billion songbirds living in Europe alone. Around half of them embark on their journey southwards in autumn over a period of less than twelve nights. It is warmer there and there is enough food for them. However, the journey to the south is arduous and dangerous. So, is the effort involved worthwhile for migratory birds? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Radolfzell have now demonstrated for the first time that the members of a bird species that migrate to winter in the south are more likely to survive than their conspecifics that remain in central Europe.
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Migration pays off for songbirds
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