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New short film spotlights avian DNA research

Researcher Mary Whitfield holds a Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. Day’s Edge Productions, all rights reserved

The latest documentary from the talented crew at Day’s Edge Productions, a company that specializes in films about science, nature, conservation, and adventure, focuses on cutting-edge bird research.

Titled “Feathers in Flight,” the 15-minute film highlights the work of the Bird Genoscape Project, an effort to map the population-specific seasonal migratory routes of birds by harnessing the power of genomics.

The filmmakers interview Mary Whitfield and other researchers who study the imperiled Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. By extracting DNA from individual feathers, they are able to map the bird’s wintering areas in hopes of improving its long-term survival.

“Feathers in Flight” premiered today on National Geographic’s YouTube page. You can watch it here.