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Testing avian compass calibration: comparative experiments with diurnal and nocturnal passerine migrants in South Sweden.

Åkesson, Susanne LU ; Odin, Catharina; Hegedüs, Ramón; Ilieva, Mihaela LU ; Sjöholm, Christoffer; Farkas, Alexandra and Horváth, Gábor (2015) In Biology Open 4(1). p.35-47
Abstract
Cue-conflict experiments were performed to study the compass calibration of one predominantly diurnal migrant, the dunnock (Prunella modularis), and two species of nocturnal passerine migrants, the sedge warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus), and the European robin (Erithacus rubecula) during autumn migration in South Sweden. The birds' orientation was recorded in circular cages under natural clear and simulated overcast skies in the local geomagnetic field, and thereafter the birds were exposed to a cue-conflict situation where the horizontal component of the magnetic field (mN) was shifted +90° or -90° at two occasions, one session starting shortly after sunrise and the other ca. 90 min before sunset and lasting for 60 min. The patterns... (More)
Cue-conflict experiments were performed to study the compass calibration of one predominantly diurnal migrant, the dunnock (Prunella modularis), and two species of nocturnal passerine migrants, the sedge warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus), and the European robin (Erithacus rubecula) during autumn migration in South Sweden. The birds' orientation was recorded in circular cages under natural clear and simulated overcast skies in the local geomagnetic field, and thereafter the birds were exposed to a cue-conflict situation where the horizontal component of the magnetic field (mN) was shifted +90° or -90° at two occasions, one session starting shortly after sunrise and the other ca. 90 min before sunset and lasting for 60 min. The patterns of the degree and angle of skylight polarization were measured by full-sky imaging polarimetry during the cue-conflict exposures and orientation tests. All species showed orientation both under clear and overcast skies that correlated with the expected migratory orientation towards southwest to south. For the European robin the orientation under clear skies was significantly different from that recorded under overcast skies, showing a tendency that the orientation under clear skies was influenced by the position of the Sun at sunset resulting in more westerly orientation. This sun attraction was not observed for the sedge warbler and the dunnock, both orientating south. All species showed similar orientation after the cue-conflict as compared to the preferred orientation recorded before the cue-conflict, with the clearest results in the European robin and thus, the results did not support recalibration of the celestial nor the magnetic compasses as a result of the cue-conflict exposure. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Biology Open
volume
4
issue
1
pages
35 - 47
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • pmid:25505150
  • wos:000348099500004
  • scopus:84979696619
ISSN
2046-6390
DOI
10.1242/bio.20149837
project
CAnMove
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e5cf443e-f551-4430-802d-82d5fcc62f79 (old id 4908343)
date added to LUP
2015-01-15 12:57:16
date last changed
2017-10-22 04:22:10
@article{e5cf443e-f551-4430-802d-82d5fcc62f79,
  abstract     = {Cue-conflict experiments were performed to study the compass calibration of one predominantly diurnal migrant, the dunnock (Prunella modularis), and two species of nocturnal passerine migrants, the sedge warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus), and the European robin (Erithacus rubecula) during autumn migration in South Sweden. The birds' orientation was recorded in circular cages under natural clear and simulated overcast skies in the local geomagnetic field, and thereafter the birds were exposed to a cue-conflict situation where the horizontal component of the magnetic field (mN) was shifted +90° or -90° at two occasions, one session starting shortly after sunrise and the other ca. 90 min before sunset and lasting for 60 min. The patterns of the degree and angle of skylight polarization were measured by full-sky imaging polarimetry during the cue-conflict exposures and orientation tests. All species showed orientation both under clear and overcast skies that correlated with the expected migratory orientation towards southwest to south. For the European robin the orientation under clear skies was significantly different from that recorded under overcast skies, showing a tendency that the orientation under clear skies was influenced by the position of the Sun at sunset resulting in more westerly orientation. This sun attraction was not observed for the sedge warbler and the dunnock, both orientating south. All species showed similar orientation after the cue-conflict as compared to the preferred orientation recorded before the cue-conflict, with the clearest results in the European robin and thus, the results did not support recalibration of the celestial nor the magnetic compasses as a result of the cue-conflict exposure.},
  author       = {Åkesson, Susanne and Odin, Catharina and Hegedüs, Ramón and Ilieva, Mihaela and Sjöholm, Christoffer and Farkas, Alexandra and Horváth, Gábor},
  issn         = {2046-6390},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {35--47},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {Biology Open},
  title        = {Testing avian compass calibration: comparative experiments with diurnal and nocturnal passerine migrants in South Sweden.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/bio.20149837},
  volume       = {4},
  year         = {2015},
}