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Migratory birds loyal to Colombia

Friday 24 August 2007.

Every year, after traveling more than 10,000 kilometers from their breeding grounds, migratory birds are returning to exactly the same site as where they departed from the previous non-breeding period. Due to the banding efforts of our Monitoring and Conservation Program for Migratory Birds, last non-breeding season we confirmed that the following species – American Redstart, Blackburnian Warbler, Canada Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Swainson’s Thrush, Prothonotary Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, and Bay-breasted Warbler have exceptional fidelity to their non-breeding territories in Colombia.

A total of 17 individuals of these eight species were recaptured in the departments of Magdalena, Tolima, Antioquia, Santander, San Andrés, and Boyacá, after one or two migratory seasons.

Among the recaptured birds there were, on November of the 2006, a Swainson’s Thrush and a Mourning Warbler that had been banded in the beginning of the year, on January, in the same shady coffee plantation, in the municipality of Betania, Antioquia.

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Swainson’s Thrush and Mourning Warbler.

In the Cerulean Warbler Bird Reserve, in Santander, three Mourning Warblers banded on October 12 2005 were recaptured on October 3, 2006 at the very same site.

All that recaptures represent new challenges of conservation and emphasize the importance of conserving habitats for migratory birds throughout the country, such as shade coffee plantations, mangroves and forests, as well as the need to fortify the banding network in Colombia as a vital technique to understand and monitor migratory species.

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