The Block Island Times

The Fat of the Matter: The importance of Block Island as a migratory stopover site for birds

Block Island Club, Corn Neck Road
Charlotte Herring
Aug 05, 2013
6:00 PM
Photo by: Nat Rea

The Nature Conservancy and BI Club invite the Island community to come hear Scott McWilliams on Monday August 5 at 6pm at the Block Island Club. McWilliams and his students have studied birds on the Island for years. He is a Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Physiology in the Department of Natural Resources Science at University of Rhode Island.

Migratory birds are incredible endurance athletes. They can fly for days without eating or drinking as they travel from their northern breeding grounds to southern wintering areas, and they exercise more intensely and longer than the best of Tour de France bicycle racers. Yet, almost all birds during migration stopover during their travels, and their ecology and physiology at these stopover sites largely determines the success or failure of migration. Research on migrating songbirds at stopover sites in coastal New England, including many studies on Block Island, have provided key insights into their ecology and physiology during migration that have important implications for land conservation and management. McWilliams research primarily focuses on the nutrition, physiology, and ecology of wild vertebrates, with an emphasis on migratory birds of conservation interest. For more information call The Nature Conservancy at 466-2129. All are welcome.