Presentation Title

Longitudinal Shifts in the Migratory Routes of Western and Eastern, but not Mountain Bluebirds

Abstract

Both spatial and temporal shifts to the migrations of birds have become more common as climate change and habitat alterations have continued to impact habitats and the species dependent on them. Our ability to track these changes for individual species is limited by costs associated with current tracking technologies such as GPS and Geolocator technology. Our approach for this paper is to use eBird citizen science data collected over ten years to ask population level questions of three species of birds; Eastern (S. sialis), Western (S. mexicana) and Mountain (S. currucoides) bluebirds. Using a Generalized Additive Model (GAM) we were able to predict the mean centroid of all three species for each Julian date from 2009 to 2018. We looked at the timing of both spring and fall migration, maximum breeding ground latitude as well as longitude of each species for each year. Using a regression analysis, we determined if there was a significant species year interaction for the response variable. From our analysis our most significant trend was that Eastern Bluebirds are shifting their longitude westward, Western Bluebirds are shifting their longitude eastward, while Mountain Bluebirds did not have any significant shift to their longitude.

Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Matt Reudink

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Longitudinal Shifts in the Migratory Routes of Western and Eastern, but not Mountain Bluebirds

Both spatial and temporal shifts to the migrations of birds have become more common as climate change and habitat alterations have continued to impact habitats and the species dependent on them. Our ability to track these changes for individual species is limited by costs associated with current tracking technologies such as GPS and Geolocator technology. Our approach for this paper is to use eBird citizen science data collected over ten years to ask population level questions of three species of birds; Eastern (S. sialis), Western (S. mexicana) and Mountain (S. currucoides) bluebirds. Using a Generalized Additive Model (GAM) we were able to predict the mean centroid of all three species for each Julian date from 2009 to 2018. We looked at the timing of both spring and fall migration, maximum breeding ground latitude as well as longitude of each species for each year. Using a regression analysis, we determined if there was a significant species year interaction for the response variable. From our analysis our most significant trend was that Eastern Bluebirds are shifting their longitude westward, Western Bluebirds are shifting their longitude eastward, while Mountain Bluebirds did not have any significant shift to their longitude.