Migrant Landbird Study Group

Promoting collaborative research for migratory landbirds across flyways

Each year billions of birds migrate between their breeding sites in Europe and non-breeding sites in Africa. The migratory life-style allows them to make optimal use of seasonal changes in food. But how flexible is this migratory life-style when environments are rapidly changing? Can they change their timing and movement decisions to keep track of advancements in peak-food availability during breeding as a result of climate warming?

Migratory species depend on several habitats - often separated in space and time - to complete their annual cycle. Consequently they are especially vulnerable to the impacts of habitat loss. Long term population declines of Afro-Palearctic migratory birds have been linked with loss of suitable breeding habitat and conditions on the non-breeding wintering grounds, but relatively little is known about the winter ecology and its influence on migrants’ overall ecology.

Last summer the 10th Conference of the European Ornithologist’s´ Union in Badajoz (Spain) attracted the biggest gathering of ornithologists ever in Europe. EOU2015 was the first large ornithological meeting since the inception of the MLSG, and thus the first opportunity to start building our community of migrant landbird researchers.