For over 40 years, scientists have documented a dramatic northward movement of many bird species found in the United States. To better understand the relationship between climate change and migratory patterns, USGS and Smithsonian Institution scientists have partnered to form the Migratory Connectivity Project. Scientists will study global migratory animal movements throughout their annual cycles to improve conservation efforts. They will also map bird migratory patterns in real time, a study that is considered critical to understanding the connectivity between climate change and Earth's ecosystems. Leg bands, satellite telemetry, and isotopic markers are being used to study migratory patterns.