The research, conducted by zoologists and physiologists at the University of British Columbia, began with a genetic puzzle. There are four different groups of yellow-rumped warblers, each distinct in behavior and appearance: the Goldman’s, myrtle, Audubon’s, and black-fronted. Their genes, however, tell a different story.
Could a common songbird have “borrowed” DNA? That’s what scientists are claiming. They’ve found that a bird may have acquired genes from fellow migrating birds in order to travel greater distances.
Most species of birds either migrate or remain resident in one region. Yet the Audubon’s warbler is a bit different in that regard. This bird actually exhibits different behaviors in different locations. For example, the northern populations breed and then migrate south for the winter while the southern populations have a tendency to stay put all year long. Continue reading