Advanced

Magnetic compass orientation research with migratory songbirds at Stensoffa Ecological Field Station in southern Sweden : why is it so difficult to obtain seasonally appropriate orientation?

Muheim, Rachel LU ; Åkesson, Susanne LU ; Bäckman, Johan LU and Sjöberg, Sissel LU (2017) In Journal of Avian Biology1994-01-01+01:00 48(1). p.6-18
Abstract

More than three decades ago, Thomas Alerstam initiated the study of orientation and navigation of migratory songbirds in southern Sweden. Stensoffa Ecological Field Station, located approx. 20 km east of Lund, has since been a primary location for orientation experiments. However, it has often been difficult to record well-oriented behaviour in the seasonal appropriate migratory directions, in particular in magnetic orientation experiments under simulated overcast or indoors. Here, we summarise all available experiments testing magnetic compass orientation in migratory songbirds in southern Sweden, and review possible explanations for the poor magnetic compass orientation found in many studies. Most of the factors proposed can be... (More)

More than three decades ago, Thomas Alerstam initiated the study of orientation and navigation of migratory songbirds in southern Sweden. Stensoffa Ecological Field Station, located approx. 20 km east of Lund, has since been a primary location for orientation experiments. However, it has often been difficult to record well-oriented behaviour in the seasonal appropriate migratory directions, in particular in magnetic orientation experiments under simulated overcast or indoors. Here, we summarise all available experiments testing magnetic compass orientation in migratory songbirds in southern Sweden, and review possible explanations for the poor magnetic compass orientation found in many studies. Most of the factors proposed can be essentially excluded, such as difficulties to extract magnetic compass information at high latitudes, methodological or experimenter biases, holding duration and repeated testing of individual birds, effects of magnetic anomalies and temporal variations of the ambient magnetic field, as well as anthropogenic electromagnetic disturbances. Possibly, the geographic location of southern Sweden where many birds captured and/or tested at coastal sites are confronted with the sea, might explain some of the variation that we see in the orientation behaviour of birds. Still, further investigations are needed to conclusively identify the factors responsible for why birds are not better oriented in the seasonal appropriate migratory direction at Stensoffa.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Avian Biology1994-01-01+01:00
volume
48
issue
1
pages
13 pages
publisher
Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
external identifiers
  • scopus:85012160032
  • wos:000395032800002
ISSN
0908-8857
DOI
10.1111/jav.01303
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1738a97d-8463-442a-a9ac-b932fb1964e6
date added to LUP
2017-02-23 11:54:27
date last changed
2018-01-07 11:52:20
@article{1738a97d-8463-442a-a9ac-b932fb1964e6,
  abstract     = {<p>More than three decades ago, Thomas Alerstam initiated the study of orientation and navigation of migratory songbirds in southern Sweden. Stensoffa Ecological Field Station, located approx. 20 km east of Lund, has since been a primary location for orientation experiments. However, it has often been difficult to record well-oriented behaviour in the seasonal appropriate migratory directions, in particular in magnetic orientation experiments under simulated overcast or indoors. Here, we summarise all available experiments testing magnetic compass orientation in migratory songbirds in southern Sweden, and review possible explanations for the poor magnetic compass orientation found in many studies. Most of the factors proposed can be essentially excluded, such as difficulties to extract magnetic compass information at high latitudes, methodological or experimenter biases, holding duration and repeated testing of individual birds, effects of magnetic anomalies and temporal variations of the ambient magnetic field, as well as anthropogenic electromagnetic disturbances. Possibly, the geographic location of southern Sweden where many birds captured and/or tested at coastal sites are confronted with the sea, might explain some of the variation that we see in the orientation behaviour of birds. Still, further investigations are needed to conclusively identify the factors responsible for why birds are not better oriented in the seasonal appropriate migratory direction at Stensoffa.</p>},
  author       = {Muheim, Rachel and Åkesson, Susanne and Bäckman, Johan and Sjöberg, Sissel},
  issn         = {0908-8857},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {6--18},
  publisher    = {Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Avian Biology1994-01-01+01:00},
  title        = {Magnetic compass orientation research with migratory songbirds at Stensoffa Ecological Field Station in southern Sweden : why is it so difficult to obtain seasonally appropriate orientation?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jav.01303},
  volume       = {48},
  year         = {2017},
}