Sunday, 22 August 2010

Urban trees 'help migrating birds'

US researchers have found that migrating birds use urban trees to rest and refuel en route between winter and breeding sites. The scientists made the discovery by fitting tiny tags to thrushes, which tracked the birds' movements. The findings are important because the world is becoming increasingly urbanised.

"With the expansion of urban areas worldwide, migrating songbirds increasingly encounter fragmented landscapes where habitat patches are embedded in an urban matrix," wrote co-authors Stephen Matthews and Paul Rodewald, landscape ecologists at Ohio State University in the US. "These findings suggest that remnant forests within urban areas have conservation value for Swainson's thrushes and, potentially, other migrant land birds."

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