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Birds with backpacks assist researchers in studying migratory patterns

migrating birdsI suppose the image of picturing birds with backpacks tend to see my mind be drifted to Daffy Duck or Donald Duck carrying a backpack, but in real life, things are very different as researchers from the University of British Columbia have strapped a couple of British Columbia subspecies of Swainson’s thrushes with penny-sized, state-of-the-art geolocators, in order to help them map out the birds’ wildly divergent migration routes as well as discover the exact location of the secret Rebel base, wait a minute there, I meant, conservation hotspots.

Kira Delmore, a PhD student with UBC’s Department of Zoology and lead author of the paper, said, “Birds of a feather do not necessarily flock together. Our teams of thrushes took dramatically different routes to get to their wintering grounds, either south along the west coast to Central America, or southeast to Alabama and across the Gulf of Mexico to Columbia.”

Good thing the geolocators do not run on Apple’s Maps app, as researchers might then be on the end of a gingerbread trail that could have led them to the Arctic circle instead.

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