RE: [cobirds] Black Swift winter home revealed! Extra, extra, read all about it on the front page of the Denver Post!
Joe, extreme thanks for this exciting review and congrats to Jason and his team! We are arranging presentations to GVAS and BCAS on the West Slope and I hope they are as well received. They deserve to be! Andrea Robinsong and I wanted to be there for your showing, but opted to wait for our local ones, another penultimate test of patience, eh?! ;-)
From: cobirds@... [mailto:cobirds@...] On Behalf Of Joe Roller
Sent: Saturday, March 03, 2012 6:00 AM
To: Colorado Birds; <lm1crow@...>; Tammy VerCauteren; Victoria Collier; Charles Hundertmark; Jason Beason
Subject: [cobirds] Black Swift winter home revealed! Extra, extra, read all about it on the front page of the Denver Post!
This is not a formal press release, but just a personal note of thanks to the team of researchers
who worked for years - decades, really - to finally untangle the mystery of where our Black Swifts
spend their winter away from Colorado's waterfalls. It was the last North American breeding bird whose
winter grounds had never been discovered.
Jason Beason of RMBO presented the story of "The Coolest Bird" to a spellbound exaltation of a hundred birders
last evening. Advancing the work of pioneer Black Swift enthusiasts Owen Knorr and the late Rich Levad, Jason
and others on his team, Kim Potter and veterinarian Carolyn Gunn, climbed to slippery ledges behind waterfalls,
mist-netted several Black Swifts, fitted them out with "geolocators" on tiny backpacks and recaptured these
same individuals the following summer. Jason gave "The Big Reveal," showing a map of where they had spent the winter -
the Amazonian Lowlands in Brazil, far from the nearest mountain or waterfall.
They also tracked the migration route and the average miles travelled per day - about 230 miles per day!
The team's article appeared yesterday in the prestigious Wilson Journal of Ornithology and will again appear in
April in the Smithsonian Magazine and Audubon Magazine.
Things we learned last night:
Far more Black Swift nesting sites have been found here in Colorado than in many other western states put together.
Black Swift nestlings launch from the nest on their first flight and begin their migration then and there. No flapping about
on the lawn like baby Robins!
If one has information from a geo-locator as to the time of sunrise and the duration of sunlight that day, one can
calculate the longitude and latitude of that spot. Brazil!
Please follow Denver Post reporter Nancy Lofholm's advice in paragraph four of her accurate front page article and
"stick with the story..." The immediate story is in the Post, but "stick with the story" of The Coolest Bird as
further RMBO research tries to learn the answers to new questions:
Do Black Swifts do "aerial roosting," flying for days on auto-pilot with stopping?
Do Black Swifts from other sites in North America winter in the Amazon Basin?
To learn more, go to the American Birding Association website and find Rich Levad's coolest book on line -
"The Coolest Bird."
Well done, Jason! Thanks!
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Colorado Birds" group.
To post to this group, send email to cobirds@....
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to cobirds+unsubscribe@....
For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/cobirds?hl=en.