photo of black tailed godwits in the waterHow do migrating birds learn their routes? Rebecca Heisman (@r_heisman) reports for Hakai Magazine that, for at least some birds, social learning plays a major role. She discusses new research on a migrating shorebird, the black-tailed godwit, that proves this learning ability — though scientists don’t yet know how the birds can learn the route from their neighbors before they even take off, which they seem to do. She discusses how social learning vs. genetics might play various roles in different types of migrating birds, and how social learning might offer birds that use it a potential advantage in a changing world. Photo by Marc Caceres via Wikimedia Commons