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Effect of geomagnetic field on migratory activity in a diurnal passerine migrant, the dunnock, Prunella modularis

Ilieva, Mihaela LU ; Bianco, Giuseppe LU and Åkesson, Susanne LU (2018) In Animal Behaviour 146. p.79-85
Abstract

Migratory songbirds are guided by an endogenous programme during their first migration, encoding timing of migration, distance and direction. To successfully perform migration, birds have evolved phenotypic adaptations for flight, fuelling and navigation. Migratory distance in different species of birds is encoded as a period of expressed migratory restlessness, for which the length is correlated with migratory distance. Most of the work so far has been on nocturnal passerine migrants, while much less is known about the phenotypic adaptations for migration in diurnal migrants. Here we studied autumn migration fuelling and expression of migratory activity in caged diurnally migrating juvenile dunnocks in response to magnetic... (More)

Migratory songbirds are guided by an endogenous programme during their first migration, encoding timing of migration, distance and direction. To successfully perform migration, birds have evolved phenotypic adaptations for flight, fuelling and navigation. Migratory distance in different species of birds is encoded as a period of expressed migratory restlessness, for which the length is correlated with migratory distance. Most of the work so far has been on nocturnal passerine migrants, while much less is known about the phenotypic adaptations for migration in diurnal migrants. Here we studied autumn migration fuelling and expression of migratory activity in caged diurnally migrating juvenile dunnocks in response to magnetic displacements. We kept one group (control) indoors at the location of capture in south Sweden, while the two experimental groups were gradually (over 5 days) displaced magnetically to locations to the northeast or to the wintering destination in southwest France. We found that all birds showed two peaks of activity during the day, for which the onset of activity was tightly timed to sunrise and sunset. The longest activity (2–3 h) occurred in the morning, coinciding with the natural period of migration for this species. For the control group, the migratory (flight) activity increased with the season (15 days), while it was strongly reduced for the dunnocks displaced to the wintering areas. Birds displaced to the north showed a stable, but slightly reduced migratory activity over time. The results support the finding that geomagnetic information expected to be met en route is important for triggering level of migratory activity in juveniles of a diurnal songbird migrant.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
bird migration, computer vision, diurnal migration, endogenous migration program, fuelling, geomagnetic field, magnetic displacement, migratory restlessness, songbird, Zugunruhe
in
Animal Behaviour
volume
146
pages
7 pages
publisher
Elsevier Ltd
external identifiers
  • scopus:85056583460
ISSN
0003-3472
DOI
10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.10.007
project
Centre for Animal Movement Research
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f9eb7740-b2de-4200-bf2a-de6f9b223f08
date added to LUP
2018-11-26 15:06:33
date last changed
2019-12-03 01:55:18
@article{f9eb7740-b2de-4200-bf2a-de6f9b223f08,
  abstract     = {<p>Migratory songbirds are guided by an endogenous programme during their first migration, encoding timing of migration, distance and direction. To successfully perform migration, birds have evolved phenotypic adaptations for flight, fuelling and navigation. Migratory distance in different species of birds is encoded as a period of expressed migratory restlessness, for which the length is correlated with migratory distance. Most of the work so far has been on nocturnal passerine migrants, while much less is known about the phenotypic adaptations for migration in diurnal migrants. Here we studied autumn migration fuelling and expression of migratory activity in caged diurnally migrating juvenile dunnocks in response to magnetic displacements. We kept one group (control) indoors at the location of capture in south Sweden, while the two experimental groups were gradually (over 5 days) displaced magnetically to locations to the northeast or to the wintering destination in southwest France. We found that all birds showed two peaks of activity during the day, for which the onset of activity was tightly timed to sunrise and sunset. The longest activity (2–3 h) occurred in the morning, coinciding with the natural period of migration for this species. For the control group, the migratory (flight) activity increased with the season (15 days), while it was strongly reduced for the dunnocks displaced to the wintering areas. Birds displaced to the north showed a stable, but slightly reduced migratory activity over time. The results support the finding that geomagnetic information expected to be met en route is important for triggering level of migratory activity in juveniles of a diurnal songbird migrant.</p>},
  author       = {Ilieva, Mihaela and Bianco, Giuseppe and Åkesson, Susanne},
  issn         = {0003-3472},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {79--85},
  publisher    = {Elsevier Ltd},
  series       = {Animal Behaviour},
  title        = {Effect of geomagnetic field on migratory activity in a diurnal passerine migrant, the dunnock, Prunella modularis},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.10.007},
  doi          = {10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.10.007},
  volume       = {146},
  year         = {2018},
}