Cuban Scientists Uncover Bird Migration Mysteries

To get more knowledge on the migratory birds that make the annual journey from North America to Cuba, researchers from Cuba are collaborating with a colleague in Canada. Bird biologist Daniela Ventura works at the University of Havana in Cuba. She used a net to catch a catbird at the botanical gardens of the capital city a few days ago. One of the migratory bird species that flies from the United States and Canada to Cuba every winter is this little, gray mammal. Students listen to Ventura’s insights and take notes in close proximity. She gives the species’ weight, estimated body fat, and description.


For a collaborative initiative between Canada and Cuba, the information offers fresh facts. Ventura and the other project researchers want to find out more about the location and methods used by the birds to spend their Cuban winters. In their breeding zone (in North America), we know a great deal about their ecology, but we know very little about what occurs in their wintering zone, according to Ventura. Politics is a contributing factor, according to Lourdes Mugica. She assisted in setting up the research and is an expert on birds. Cooperation between the US and Cuba is challenging due to a protracted US embargo. Scientific research is a part of that.


According to Mugica, the project shows what is feasible and has the support of Environment and Climate Change Canada. Martin Acosta, another of Cuba’s foremost ornithologists, concurs. In Cuba, the partners from Canada and Cuba installed a radio telemetry antenna. The antenna is a component of the global MOTUS research network. Cuba has never before been a part of the MOTUS network. Birds that have been radio-tagged in different regions of North America can be tracked with the antenna. It recently discovered a tiny Swainson’s thrush in Cuba. The bird was initially tagged in British Columbia, Canada, which is 5,000 kilometers away from the country of the Caribbean.

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