Each fall, billions of songbirds leave Canada on an epic journey to their far-away wintering grounds in Central and South America where many live in tropical forests shared by toucans, howler monkeys, and jaguars. Dozens of species have experienced serious, long-term population declines that are driven in part by the threats that these birds face on migration and while in the tropics. But only recently has it been possible to track the migration of individual songbirds over part, or all, of their migration journey. Bridget Stutchbury talks about the threats our songbirds face and the importance of conserving critical for their journey.
Bridget Stutchbury is a professor in the Department of Biology at York University, Toronto. She did her M.Sc. at Queen’s University, her Ph.D. at Yale and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. Since the 1980s, she has studied migratory songbirds to understand their behaviour, ecology and conservation but has also witnessed first-hand the shocking declines of many birds including wood thrushes, barn swallows and bobolinks. She studies the incredible migration journeys of songbirds and the many threats they face along the way. She is President of the board of Wildlife Preservation Canada whose mission is to prevent animal extinctions. She is author of Silence of the Songbirds (2007) and The Bird Detective (2010) and was featured in the award-winning 2015 documentary The Messenger.
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