Wing Shape Determines How Far Young Birds Move From Their Nests

by Royal Ontario Museum
September 3, 2021

TORONTO, September 3, 2021 – A new study by Dr. Santiago Claramunt, Associate Curator of Birds at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of the University of Toronto, finds that wing morphology and flight efficiency are critical factors in a bird’s ability to move to a new breeding place. The study, “Flight efficiency explains differences in natal dispersal distances in birds”, was published in the journal Ecology.

“When a bird moves to establish a new breeding territory, how far does it go? This is a simple but fundamental question in ecology and evolution,” says Claramunt. “Despite great advances in tracking technologies, we know little about the movement of young birds. Natal dispersal, the movement of birds from the place where they were born to a new breeding site, has important consequences for bird demography, genetic connectivity, and conservation.”

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