Princeton-Led Research Reveals the Secret Sites Where America’s Migrating Songbirds Stop to Rest and Refuel

Every year, billions of birds migrate thousands of miles from their summer breeding ranges to their warmer wintering ranges and back. However, the question of where these birds stop to rest and refuel along the way has long stumped ornithologists. Princeton PhD student Fengyi Guo and her colleagues from Princeton University and the University of Delaware address this question in a newly published (December 12, 2023) paper by using weather radar imagery to map the birds’ migratory stopover sites in North America. The article is titled “Seasonal Patterns and Protection Status of Stopover Hotspots for Migratory Landbirds in the Eastern United States.” Using weather surveillance radar to compute and compare bird movement patterns across five years of spring and fall migrations, Guo and her team pinpointed over 2.4 million hectares of land as key stopover hotspots for landbirds across the eastern United States.
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