Birds are the ultimate travelers -- migration is the signature characteristic of approximately half of all species, worldwide (Rappole 1995). Because they do not recognize political or cultural boundaries, their study and conservation requires collaboration between countries and cultures. Such collaboration is now commonplace in the Northern Hemisphere.
Surprisingly, no international partnerships exist for the study of bird migration on the planet’s most bird-rich continent, South America, which holds the world’s third-largest migratory system (Jahn et al. 2004, Chesser, 2005) and is the epicenter of bird and migratory diversity (Stotz et al. 1996, Jahn et al. 2004).
We propose to establish a network of ornithologists in South America to study two key elements of migration: timing and connectivity. We focus on "Neotropical austral migrants" -- species that breed at the southern latitudes of South America and migrate north towards the equator.