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March 31, 2015 | Globe and Mail | Published News | IVAN SEMENIUK

Blackpoll Warblers with Geolocators

Kent McFarland/Vermont Center for EcoStudies

Tiny birds, even tinier backpacks, and a heck of a lot of air miles.

Those are the essential ingredients behind a Canada-U.S. study that appears to have convincingly solved a 50-year-old mystery while at the same time discovering one of the most impressive animal migrations on Earth.

The bird is the blackpoll warbler, a small but tuneful denizen of the boreal forest that can be found in summer months from Alaska to Newfoundland. The mystery has to do with how they get to South America every fall,...

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