Neotropical Migratory Birds

A Future for Neotropical Migratory Birds

The ecology of Neotropical migratory birds has attracted considerable attention following the documentation of continent-wide declines in many migratory species. Whereas most of this attention was initially directed toward breeding-ground events in North America, a number of studies of migrants during the non-breeding season have focused on habitat-specific, demographic, and site fidelity data to assess habitat preferences of overwintering migrants on their Central American and Caribbean wintering grounds. Other researchers pursued studies of birds during migration, and especially events at key migratory stopover sites.

To fully understand what factors determine population size for a species, we need to build detailed models of the full annual cycle of a focal migratory species. These models require habitat- and age-specific data from the breeding grounds, overwintering sites, and both spring and fall migrations. When data from a single species can be pooled together, we can identify where in the annual cycle managers can best impact a species so as to target population recovery and conservation efforts.

At the National Aviary, we have selected the Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla) as our focal species and completed more than 10 years of fieldwork on both the breeding and wintering grounds. The waterthrush – the only stream-dependent songbird in eastern North America – is also a forest-interior specialist and occupies linear territories along headwater streams where it depends primarily on aquatic macroinvertebrates for food. Waterthrushes have been suggested as an important indicator of the ecological integrity of these forested riparian ecosystems. The Louisiana Waterthrush is considered a species of conservation concern and is listed as a priority species for several Bird Conservation Regions because of its dependence on a specialized habitat threatened by a number of environmental stressors.

 

Research on Neotropical Birds Applied Conservation Education & Capacity Building

In The News

See All News

10 Places to Visit on Sunny Days in Pittsburgh! | Her Campus

On a nice, sunny day, college students can head to the North Shore and visit the National Aviary!

Read More »

3 peregrine falcon chicks hatch in Cathedral of Learning nest | TribLIVE

Morela, a female peregrine falcon, laid the four eggs in March, and she and mate Ecco have been incubating them for the past month. The National Aviary operates a nest cam, so viewers can watch Morela and mate Ecco care for the chicks.

Read More »

3 peregrine falcon chicks hatch in Cathedral of Learning nest | Yahoo! News

Three peregrine falcons hatched Sunday in the nest atop the Cathedral of Learning, according to Pittsburgh's National Aviary.

Read More »

Why Pittsburgh is So Much More than a Steel Town | Conde Nast Traveler

The immersive, experiential Mattress Factory, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Phipps Conservatory, The National Aviary and The Frick Pittsburgh are among the city’s other outstanding cultural institutions.

Read More »

First Peregrine Falcon Chick Hatches At Pitt’s Cathedral Of Learning Nest | KDKA - CBS Pittsburgh

The National Aviary announced that the first Peregrine Falcon chick has hatched at Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning nest on Sunday.

Read More »