Blomberg, Fish speak with CBC News about woodcock migration study

CBC News interviewed University of Maine researchers Erik Blomberg and Alexander Fish for the report, “Tracking a secretive bird: Researchers join woodcock migration study.” The researchers are part of an international migration study that biologists hope can shed light on the elusive game bird. As part of the study, the birds were equipped with GPS transmitters. To ensure the transmitters didn’t interfere with flight and movement, the researchers tested them on pigeons caught on campus at UMaine, said Fish, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology. This is the second year for the study, which has already provided some insight, the article states. “We’re seeing some birds that can go, say, a distance as far as Maine to coastal North Carolina in as little as six days,” said Blomberg, associate professor of wildlife population ecology. “And then there’s other birds that might take six weeks to make a similar distance.” Woodcock numbers have been in slow decline for more than 50 years, and Blomberg said they have dropped about 1% a year over that time.