Migratory Birds Threatened By Everything From Development To Climate Change

In this photo taken Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, a group of Long-Billed Dowitchers fly low over the water of a rice field near Knights Landing, Calif. Due to the severe drought California’s critical wetlands has been cut to as little as one-sixth, threatening the habitat of migrating birds along the Pacific Flyway. The Nature Conservancy has embarked on a program to lease 14,000 acres from rice farmers, to be flooded long enough to create “pop-up habitats” that will give migrating birds resting and feeding grounds needed to survive their long flights to and from the north.
A group of Long-Billed Dowitchers fly low over the water of a rice field near Knights Landing, Calif. Due to the severe drought California's critical wetlands has been cut to as little as one-sixth, threatening the habitat of migrating birds along the Pacific Flyway. Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo
In this photo taken Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, a group of Long-Billed Dowitchers fly low over the water of a rice field near Knights Landing, Calif. Due to the severe drought California’s critical wetlands has been cut to as little as one-sixth, threatening the habitat of migrating birds along the Pacific Flyway. The Nature Conservancy has embarked on a program to lease 14,000 acres from rice farmers, to be flooded long enough to create “pop-up habitats” that will give migrating birds resting and feeding grounds needed to survive their long flights to and from the north.
A group of Long-Billed Dowitchers fly low over the water of a rice field near Knights Landing, Calif. Due to the severe drought California's critical wetlands has been cut to as little as one-sixth, threatening the habitat of migrating birds along the Pacific Flyway. Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

Migratory Birds Threatened By Everything From Development To Climate Change

Worldview recently aired the final episode of a four-part BBC series, Life and Loss on the East Asian Highway. It followed the dangerous, and sometimes fatal, migration of millions of birds from “Australasia” and Southeast Asia to Alaska and the Russian Arctic.

We talk with Amanda Rodewald, Garvin Professor and director of Conservation Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology at Cornell University, which partnered with the BBC for the series. She tells us how climate change, urban sprawl and other threats endanger these birds and birds in the Midwest region.