Emily Filiberti with a banded male Golden-winged Warbler

University of Maine graduate student Emily Filiberti of Fairfax, Vermont has spent her summer in the woods of Wisconsin tracking forest songbirds.

With the guidance of her adviser Amber Roth, assistant professor of forest wildlife management at UMaine, Filiberti is studying the survival rate of the birds using the Motus Wildlife Tracking System, an international network of stations that pick up signals from tagged wildlife.

The morning of June 6, Filiberti noticed an American redstart was lingering near a monitoring location — a sign the bird could be nesting. She pulled up the bird’s records and encountered a familiar name. The tag’s contact was Bryant Dossman, a postdoctoral fellow at Georgetown University, who mentored Filiberti during an internship with professor Peter Marra, also of Georgetown.

Filiberti reached out to Dossman, who confirmed he had tagged the redstart on April 5 at the Font Hill Nature Preserve in southwest Jamaica. Filiberti knew the site well; she had spent her internship tagging birds in the preserve.

The quarter-ounce bird had migrated more than 2,000 miles from one forest Filiberti had studied to another.

“She selected a location that was right next to a station I run — someone who once traveled the same paths that she flew over, touched the same trees that she perched on, and overwintered at the Font Hill Nature Preserve,” Filiberti says. “This bird is a subtle reminder of how connected we are as a community, both with one another and with the organisms that surround us.”

A full account of Filiberti’s encounter is on the University of Maine's College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture’s website.

Contact: Erin Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.