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Black Swift Wintering Grounds Discovered


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Read the full blog entry on Earbirding.com

 

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It was one of the last North American bird species to be described to science, in 1857. Its nest was not found until 1901. The first audio recording of its voice was not made until 1993. And every summer, across most of its breeding range, it is the last species to arrive from the south, often not appearing until the end of June.

 

But most remarkably of all, it was the only North American migratory bird to enter the 21st century with the location of its wintering grounds still a complete mystery.

 

But in 2009, a group of researchers from Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory caught four Black Swifts in Colorado and fitted them with geolocators.

 

Today they announced the results: those three Black Swifts carried their little backpacks all the way to South America and back — specifically to the Amazon basin of western Brazil.

 

Literature Cited

Beason, J.P., C. Gunn, K.M. Potter, R.A. Sparks, and J.W. Fox. 2012. The Northern Black Swift: Migration Path and Wintering Area Revealed. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 124:1-8.

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