Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day With the WOS!

Saturday, May 14, is World Migratory Bird Day! As our way of celebrating birds’ amazing migratory feats, we put together this round-up of migration-related papers published in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology last year. When you’re done exploring them, go check out the official World Migratory Bird Day website, which has lots of information and activities related to this year’s theme, the impacts of light pollution on migrating birds!

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Guest Post: Egg Cannibalism in Gulls

This post was contributed by James L. Hayward, corresponding author of a recent paper in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology describing the occurrence and impact of egg cannibalism on a Glaucous-winged Gull colony.

An egg cannibal eating the contents of a stolen egg. Photo by James Hayward.

Over the course of many field seasons at a colony of several thousand Glaucous-winged Gulls at Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, I noticed large accumulations of broken eggshell littering a few of the nesting territories. I watched the owners of these territories invade the territories of fellow residents, grab an egg, fly the egg back to their own territories, and eat the contents. Eggshell fragments from the stolen eggs accumulated on the territories of these egg cannibals.

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Guest Post: An Air Compressor System for Bird Banding

This post was contributed by WOS member Annie Lindsay, lead author of a recent paper in North American Bird Bander about the air compressor system she describes here.

Annie Lindsay uses the air compressor system to examine a bird. Photo credit: Powdermill Nature Reserve / Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Bird banders take standard measurements on all birds they process as they build their datasets, some of which require banders to use their breath to blow gently to part a bird’s feathers. One of the most universal of these measurements is an inspection of the fat layer visible under the skin, which gives information about things like migratory readiness and refueling performance. Depending on the season, banders may also need to part feathers to check for breeding condition (whether the bird has a brood patch or cloacal protuberance), the level of skull development (which aids in ageing), and any sign of molt activity.

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Registration for WOS 2022 Now Open!

Registration is now open for our annual meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, this July 17–20! Early registration rates will be available until June 10. If you haven’t already, take a few minutes to review the information on accommodations, the planned symposiums and workshops and events, and the meeting code of conduct. There will also be a virtual event the following week on July 25 for those who are unable to join us in Santa Fe. July can’t get here fast enough ⁠— we can’t wait to see you!