Saturday, March 7, 2015

Amazing visualization of migration in European storks

Here's a great visualization of stork migration. The video is put out by a graphic production company not a scientific organization so there are details missing. I assume these are white storks and possibly a mixture of adults and young. It is interesting the two tracks they take. Makes me wonder if there might be some sort of genetic divergence occurring. 


  1. While there are two distinct migration routes, there is, however, a great deal of breeding ground overlap in southern Germany, which does not suggest a divergence. (And if you believe the Wikipedia article, birds banded in Germany have been found in India, which suggests genetic sharing even with remote populations.)

  2. What I'm thinking is that there is divergence despite the overlap in breeding area. I'm thinking about the genetic rigging of the migration system although cranes and such learn much of their migration route. Still, it would not surprise me that there are behavioral cues on the breeding grounds. I'll have to revisit Peter Berthold's awesome stuff.

  3. This is an interesting study on that point (note, shockingly, who the second author is 8-P.):

    Money line: "We suggest that naïve white storks (and maybe other soaring migrants) rely on social interactions when selecting their autumn migratory route to a much greater extent than do passerine long-distance migrants."