PBS NewsHour Interviews Holberton About Songbird Migration

Rebecca Holberton, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Maine, spoke with PBS NewsHour for a report about the blackpoll warbler, a songbird that migrates from Canada to Puerto Rico without stopping. A team of researchers from Canada and the northeastern United States recently confirmed that the birds fly south over water as far as 1,700 hundred miles with no layover, according to the report. The blackpoll warblers population is declining at a rate of 6 percent per year, the report states. Holberton, who has been studying the birds for 20 years, said it wasn’t uncommon in the past to catch 300 blackpoll warblers in the fall, but now she’s lucky if she gets 30. To understand what’s causing the decline, the researchers hope to learn more about the bird’s life cycle and migratory patterns.