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Stroke of Luck Connects Research Bird from Illinois to Nicaragua

Cara J

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Nobody knew precisely where it came from, and it didn’t have a particularly remarkable name when researchers first discovered it in September 2014 in the Seversen Dells Nature Preserve in northern Illinois. But golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) number 2680-13793 was captured along with several other species of birds early in their journey from the Great Lakes region down to their wintering grounds in Latin America. The bird, who we’ll call “Two” for short, was given a colored band with a number by Rockford University researcher James Marshall, who was looking to see whether the warblers and other migrant birds had a hand (or a wing) in spreading invasive bush honeysuckles. “He probably didn’t think anything of it,” said Amber Roth — a research assistant professor at Michigan Technological University. He put a band on Two and “sent it on its merry way.” Sometime later and after a rather large journey that took Two across the U.S. from north to south and likely included a deadheaded barrel across the Gulf of Mexico, the golden-winged warbler ended up on a coffee plantation in Nicaragua where it presumably intended to spend a relaxing winter. But Two apparently hadn’t learned its lesson back in [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/stroke-of-luck-connects-research-bird-from-illinois-to-nicaragua/

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