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First-time migration in juvenile common cuckoos documented by satellite tracking

Vega, Marta Lomas LU ; Willemoes, Mikkel LU ; Thomson, Robert L.; Tolvanen, Jere; Rutila, Jarkko; Samaš, Peter; Strandberg, Roine LU ; Grim, Tomáš; Fossøy, Frode and Stokke, Bård Gunnar, et al. (2016) In PLoS ONE 11(12).
Abstract

Being an obligate parasite, juvenile common cuckoos Cuculus canorus are thought to reach their African wintering grounds from Palearctic breeding grounds without guidance from experienced conspecifics but this has not been documented. We used satellite tracking to study naïve migrating common cuckoos. Juvenile cuckoos left breeding sites in Finland moving slowly and less consistently directed than adult cuckoos. Migration of the juveniles (N = 5) was initiated later than adults (N = 20), was directed toward the southwest-significantly different from the initial southeast direction of adults-and included strikingly long Baltic Sea crossings (N = 3). After initial migration of juvenile cuckoos toward Poland, the migration direction... (More)

Being an obligate parasite, juvenile common cuckoos Cuculus canorus are thought to reach their African wintering grounds from Palearctic breeding grounds without guidance from experienced conspecifics but this has not been documented. We used satellite tracking to study naïve migrating common cuckoos. Juvenile cuckoos left breeding sites in Finland moving slowly and less consistently directed than adult cuckoos. Migration of the juveniles (N = 5) was initiated later than adults (N = 20), was directed toward the southwest-significantly different from the initial southeast direction of adults-and included strikingly long Baltic Sea crossings (N = 3). After initial migration of juvenile cuckoos toward Poland, the migration direction changed and proceeded due south, directly toward the winter grounds, as revealed by a single tag transmitting until arrival in Northwest Angola where northern adult cuckoos regularly winter. Compared to adults, the juvenile travelled straighter and faster, potentially correcting for wind drift along the route. That both migration route and timing differed from adults indicates that juvenile cuckoos are able to reach proper wintering grounds independently, guided only by their innate migration programme.

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PLoS ONE
volume
11
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12
publisher
Public Library of Science
external identifiers
  • scopus:85007307705
  • wos:000392843200112
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0168940
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English
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yes
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bfbf83e4-2fc9-4218-803b-707e489812c6
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2017-01-13 11:09:45
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2017-11-19 04:36:43
@article{bfbf83e4-2fc9-4218-803b-707e489812c6,
  abstract     = {<p>Being an obligate parasite, juvenile common cuckoos Cuculus canorus are thought to reach their African wintering grounds from Palearctic breeding grounds without guidance from experienced conspecifics but this has not been documented. We used satellite tracking to study naïve migrating common cuckoos. Juvenile cuckoos left breeding sites in Finland moving slowly and less consistently directed than adult cuckoos. Migration of the juveniles (N = 5) was initiated later than adults (N = 20), was directed toward the southwest-significantly different from the initial southeast direction of adults-and included strikingly long Baltic Sea crossings (N = 3). After initial migration of juvenile cuckoos toward Poland, the migration direction changed and proceeded due south, directly toward the winter grounds, as revealed by a single tag transmitting until arrival in Northwest Angola where northern adult cuckoos regularly winter. Compared to adults, the juvenile travelled straighter and faster, potentially correcting for wind drift along the route. That both migration route and timing differed from adults indicates that juvenile cuckoos are able to reach proper wintering grounds independently, guided only by their innate migration programme.</p>},
  articleno    = {e0168940},
  author       = {Vega, Marta Lomas and Willemoes, Mikkel and Thomson, Robert L. and Tolvanen, Jere and Rutila, Jarkko and Samaš, Peter and Strandberg, Roine and Grim, Tomáš and Fossøy, Frode and Stokke, Bård Gunnar and Thorup, Kasper},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  number       = {12},
  publisher    = {Public Library of Science},
  series       = {PLoS ONE},
  title        = {First-time migration in juvenile common cuckoos documented by satellite tracking},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0168940},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2016},
}