Montana Public Radio

peregrine falcon

Jill O'Brien

"In this case, you have to realize nature is a tough, tough mother. When you really work in biology you have to leave your human sympathies behind and that’s the most difficult part. The loss of a young peregrine falcon in the big picture is nothing, nothing. But it breaks your heart. And so you just have to steel yourself or those kind of moments, and that book is full of those kind of moments." -- Dan O'Brien

'Field Notes:' How Scientists Study Bird Migration

Mar 19, 2018
Bar-tailed godwit.
Ian Kirk (CC-BY-2)

Migration is one of the many adaptations used by birds and other animals to cope with the cold temperatures and scarcity of food that winter can bring. As scientists and naturalists we are interested not only in where birds go in the winter, but in how we know where birds go in search of more hospitable conditions. Traditionally, scientists captured, tagged and released individual birds and hoped that someone, somewhere, would find this bird and report its whereabouts.