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Songbirds’ Epic Migrations Connected To A Small Cluster Of Genes

thrush-with-tracker_770Scientists from the University of British Columbia have shown that there is a genetic basis to the migratory routes flown by songbirds, and have narrowed in on a relatively small cluster of genes that may govern the behaviour. “It’s amazing that the routes and timing of such complex behaviour could be genetically determined and associated with a very small portion of the genome,” said researcher Kira Delmore, lead author of the paper published today in Current Biology. “What’s even more amazing is that differences in this behaviour could be helping to maintain the huge diversity of songbirds we see in the natural world.”

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