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Migration of the Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) : A Eurasian songbird wintering in highly seasonal conditions in the West African Sahel

Kristensen, Mikkel Willemoes LU ; Tøttrup, Anders P and Thorup, Kasper (2013) In Auk 130(2). p.258-264
Abstract

Some species of long-distance migrant birds are thought to follow spatiotemporal patterns of high food availability during the non-breeding season, a strategy termed "itinerancy," instead of being sedentary in one specific site. We tracked the migration of a small Eurasian songbird, the Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus), using archival light-level geolocators. The birds showed a distinct counterclockwise loop migration from northern Europe. Fall migration passed west of the Mediterranean Sea and along the northwest African coast before the birds made an abrupt change of direction at the southern edge of the Sahara toward the winter area farther inland in the West African Sahel. Spring migration was more direct: north to the... (More)

Some species of long-distance migrant birds are thought to follow spatiotemporal patterns of high food availability during the non-breeding season, a strategy termed "itinerancy," instead of being sedentary in one specific site. We tracked the migration of a small Eurasian songbird, the Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus), using archival light-level geolocators. The birds showed a distinct counterclockwise loop migration from northern Europe. Fall migration passed west of the Mediterranean Sea and along the northwest African coast before the birds made an abrupt change of direction at the southern edge of the Sahara toward the winter area farther inland in the West African Sahel. Spring migration was more direct: north to the Iberian Peninsula and back to northern Europe. The birds spent more time in only one winter site than they do during the breeding season in northern Europe, and they generally showed no signs of itinerancy-except for one bird that probably avoided an exceptional drought. Their arrival on the winter grounds was well timed with peak vegetation greenness, assumed to reflect food availability, but vegetation greenness declined rapidly during their stay, and resource availability was relatively low throughout most of the non-breeding season. Despite the highly seasonal conditions in the wintering area, itinerancy is apparently not an optimal strategy for the Common Redstart, possibly because of timing constraints. Alternatively, food availability may not be closely linked to vegetation greenness.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Common Redstart, Itinerancy, Migration, Phoenicurus phoenicurus, Winter ecology, Zugknick
in
Auk
volume
130
issue
2
pages
7 pages
publisher
BioOne
external identifiers
  • scopus:84878861586
ISSN
0004-8038
DOI
10.1525/auk.2013.13001
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
76a4f2a8-bb30-4e74-971b-affeadf14a58
date added to LUP
2017-03-09 11:19:13
date last changed
2018-07-15 04:38:57
@article{76a4f2a8-bb30-4e74-971b-affeadf14a58,
  abstract     = {<p>Some species of long-distance migrant birds are thought to follow spatiotemporal patterns of high food availability during the non-breeding season, a strategy termed "itinerancy," instead of being sedentary in one specific site. We tracked the migration of a small Eurasian songbird, the Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus), using archival light-level geolocators. The birds showed a distinct counterclockwise loop migration from northern Europe. Fall migration passed west of the Mediterranean Sea and along the northwest African coast before the birds made an abrupt change of direction at the southern edge of the Sahara toward the winter area farther inland in the West African Sahel. Spring migration was more direct: north to the Iberian Peninsula and back to northern Europe. The birds spent more time in only one winter site than they do during the breeding season in northern Europe, and they generally showed no signs of itinerancy-except for one bird that probably avoided an exceptional drought. Their arrival on the winter grounds was well timed with peak vegetation greenness, assumed to reflect food availability, but vegetation greenness declined rapidly during their stay, and resource availability was relatively low throughout most of the non-breeding season. Despite the highly seasonal conditions in the wintering area, itinerancy is apparently not an optimal strategy for the Common Redstart, possibly because of timing constraints. Alternatively, food availability may not be closely linked to vegetation greenness.</p>},
  author       = {Kristensen, Mikkel Willemoes and Tøttrup, Anders P and Thorup, Kasper},
  issn         = {0004-8038},
  keyword      = {Common Redstart,Itinerancy,Migration,Phoenicurus phoenicurus,Winter ecology,Zugknick},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {258--264},
  publisher    = {BioOne},
  series       = {Auk},
  title        = {Migration of the Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) : A Eurasian songbird wintering in highly seasonal conditions in the West African Sahel},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/auk.2013.13001},
  volume       = {130},
  year         = {2013},
}