Research report 2016 - Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology
Migration genetics – how do migratory birds find their way?
Max Planck Forschungsgruppe Verhaltensgenomik
SummaryOne characteristic of bird migration is its variability, both within and among species. Particularly fascinating are young birds on their first migratory journey covering thousands of kilometers that often span continents. These tiny birds travel to wintering areas they have never been before - without the guidance of their parents, but with amazing accuracy. How do they do this? From selection experiments we know that variation in migratory behaviour is largely due to genetic differences, but the number and identity of genes involved in controlling migratory traits remains elusive.