Bird migration on the BBC
The 'In Our Time' programme on BBC Radio 4 at 0900 on 6 July will discuss this complex subject with Institute members.
To quote the BBC trailer:
'Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss why some birds migrate and others do not, how they select their destinations and how they navigate the great distances, often over oceans. For millennia, humans set their calendars to birds' annual arrivals, and speculated about what happened when they departed, perhaps moving deep under water, or turning into fish or shellfish, or hibernating while clinging to trees upside down. Ideas about migration developed in the 19th century when, in Germany, a stork was noticed with an African spear in its neck, indicating where it had been been over winter and how far it had flown. Today there are many ideas about how birds use their senses of sight and smell, and magnetic fields, to find their way, and about why and how birds choose their destinations and many questions. Why do some scatter and some flock together, how much is instinctive and how much is learned, and how far do the benefits the migrating birds gain outweigh the risks they face?'
The panel of experts will comprise Institute members Barbara Helm, University of Glasgow, and Richard Holland, Bangor University, together with Prof Tim Guilford of Merton College, Oxford.
The programme may be heard live at 0900 on 6 July and will be available shortly after the broadcast through the BBC iPlayer link below . .