500K birds set to migrate from Utah to Argentina
SALT LAKE CITY — Researchers from Utah and Argentina are teaming up to study one of the most impressive bird migrations on Earth.
Argentine biologist Marcela Castellino and Weber State University professor John Cavitt are seeking to unravel the mysteries of a 5,000-mile nonstop flight that a tiny shorebird makes every year between Utah’s Great Salt Lake and similar inland saline lakes in Argentina.
KSL reports the scientists are focusing on Wilson’s phalaropes at a time when some 500,000 of them are fueling up and getting ready to take off from Utah’s Great Salt Lake for their principal wintering grounds in Argentina.
The birds are currently consuming large amounts of brine shrimp and brine flies at the Great Salt Lake, but scientists say the problem is they don’t know which parts of the lake are important to phalaropes.