Tracking the Migration of Bar-headed Geese

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For more information on the movement of wild birds in Asia and how this relates to avian influenza viruses, see The autumn migration routes of bar-headed geese captured before the 2008 breeding season at Qinghai Lake, China, were documented using satellite tracking data. Our results showed that there were four typical migration routes in autumn with variation in timing among individuals in start and end times and in total migration and stopover duration.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:01:41

Location Taken: Beltsville, MD, US


[USGS: Science for a changing world]

Tracking the migration of bar-headed geese

Bar-headed geese conduct one of the most impressive
migrations of any bird

Birds are marked at Qinghai Lake, a high elevation
(3200 m)

saltwater lake in north-central China

Historically, limited banding data indicated

migratory connections to India and Bangladesh

This study discovered a new migratory connection
to wetlands

near Lhasa, Tibet where 90% of marked birds wintered

Each colored line and associated colored dots represents the path of a single bird

Autumn - birds are migrating 1200 km south
to Tibet (August to December)

Spring - birds are moving north to Qinghai

Lake (February to April)

Autumn 2008

Spring 2009

Autumn 2009

Spring 2010

Autumn 2010

Spring 2011

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[USGS: Science for a changing world]