Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: South Dakota
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Flack, A., Aikens, E. O., Kölzsch, A., Nourani, E., Snell, K. R. S., Fiedler, W., Linek, N., Bauer, H., Thorup, K., Partecke, K., Wikelski, M., and Williams, H. J. (2022). New frontiers in bird migration research. Current Biology, 32(20): R11787-R1199. ​​​​


Bird migrations are impressive behavioral phenomena, representing complex spatiotemporal strategies to balance costs of living while maximizing fitness. The field of bird migration research has made great strides over the past decades, yet fundamental gaps remain. Innovative technologies have sparked a transformation in bird migration research by providing new insights into long-standing questions on a diverse range of topics. Here, we aim to encourage broad discussions and promote future studies by highlighting research fields that are characterized by major knowledge gaps or conflicting evidence, namely the fields of navigation, social learning, individual development, energetics, and conservation. We approach each topic by summarizing the current state of knowledge and provide a future outlook of ideas and state-of-the-art methods to further advance the field.