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Activity and migratory flights of individual free-flying songbirds throughout the annual cycle : Method and first case study

Bäckman, Johan LU ; Andersson, Arne LU ; Alerstam, Thomas LU ; Pedersen, Lykke; Sjöberg, Sissel LU ; Thorup, Kasper and Tøttrup, Anders P. (2016) In Journal of Avian Biology 47(1).
Abstract

We describe a method and device (< 1.2 g) for recording, processing and storing data about activity and location of individuals of free-living songbirds throughout the annual cycle. Activity level was determined every five minutes from five 100 ms samples of accelerometer data with 5 s between the sampling events. Activity levels were stored on an hourly basis throughout the annual cycle, allowing periods of resting/sleep, continuous flight and intermediate activity (foraging, breeding) to be distinguished. Measurements from a light sensor were stored from preprogrammed key stationary periods during the year to provide control information about geographic location. Successful results, including annual actogram, were obtained for a... (More)

We describe a method and device (< 1.2 g) for recording, processing and storing data about activity and location of individuals of free-living songbirds throughout the annual cycle. Activity level was determined every five minutes from five 100 ms samples of accelerometer data with 5 s between the sampling events. Activity levels were stored on an hourly basis throughout the annual cycle, allowing periods of resting/sleep, continuous flight and intermediate activity (foraging, breeding) to be distinguished. Measurements from a light sensor were stored from preprogrammed key stationary periods during the year to provide control information about geographic location. Successful results, including annual actogram, were obtained for a red-backed shrike Lanius collurio carrying out its annual loop migration between northern Europe and southern Africa. The shrike completed its annual migration by performing > 66 (max. 73) nocturnal migratory flights (29 flights in autumn and > 37, max. 44, in spring) adding up to a total of > 434 (max. 495) flight hours. Migratory flights lasted on average 6.6 h with maximum 15.9 h. These flights were aggregated into eight travel episodes (periods of 4-11 nights when flights took place on the majority of nights). Daytime resting levels were much higher during the winter period compared to breeding and final part of spring migration. Daytime resting showed peaks during days between successive nocturnal flights across Sahara, continental Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, indicating that the bird was mostly sleeping between these long migratory flights. Annual activity and flight data for free-living songbirds will open up many new research possibilities. Main topics that can be addressed are e.g. migratory flight performance (total flight investment, numbers and characteristics of flights), timing of stationary periods, activity patterns (resting/sleep, activity level) in different phases of the annual cycle and variability in the annual activity patterns between and within individuals.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
in
Journal of Avian Biology
volume
47
issue
1
pages
10 pages
publisher
Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
external identifiers
  • scopus:84979782502
  • wos:000395430600013
ISSN
0908-8857
DOI
10.1111/jav.01068
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3fa38b96-e7c6-41d4-994c-92e5afd63c84
date added to LUP
2017-01-23 14:39:45
date last changed
2017-10-22 05:25:24
@article{3fa38b96-e7c6-41d4-994c-92e5afd63c84,
  abstract     = {<p>We describe a method and device (&lt; 1.2 g) for recording, processing and storing data about activity and location of individuals of free-living songbirds throughout the annual cycle. Activity level was determined every five minutes from five 100 ms samples of accelerometer data with 5 s between the sampling events. Activity levels were stored on an hourly basis throughout the annual cycle, allowing periods of resting/sleep, continuous flight and intermediate activity (foraging, breeding) to be distinguished. Measurements from a light sensor were stored from preprogrammed key stationary periods during the year to provide control information about geographic location. Successful results, including annual actogram, were obtained for a red-backed shrike Lanius collurio carrying out its annual loop migration between northern Europe and southern Africa. The shrike completed its annual migration by performing &gt; 66 (max. 73) nocturnal migratory flights (29 flights in autumn and &gt; 37, max. 44, in spring) adding up to a total of &gt; 434 (max. 495) flight hours. Migratory flights lasted on average 6.6 h with maximum 15.9 h. These flights were aggregated into eight travel episodes (periods of 4-11 nights when flights took place on the majority of nights). Daytime resting levels were much higher during the winter period compared to breeding and final part of spring migration. Daytime resting showed peaks during days between successive nocturnal flights across Sahara, continental Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, indicating that the bird was mostly sleeping between these long migratory flights. Annual activity and flight data for free-living songbirds will open up many new research possibilities. Main topics that can be addressed are e.g. migratory flight performance (total flight investment, numbers and characteristics of flights), timing of stationary periods, activity patterns (resting/sleep, activity level) in different phases of the annual cycle and variability in the annual activity patterns between and within individuals.</p>},
  author       = {Bäckman, Johan and Andersson, Arne and Alerstam, Thomas and Pedersen, Lykke and Sjöberg, Sissel and Thorup, Kasper and Tøttrup, Anders P.},
  issn         = {0908-8857},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {10},
  publisher    = {Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Avian Biology},
  title        = {Activity and migratory flights of individual free-flying songbirds throughout the annual cycle : Method and first case study},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jav.01068},
  volume       = {47},
  year         = {2016},
}