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Northern magnetic displacements trigger endogenous fuelling responses in a naive bird migrant
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Ethology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2452-9609
2012 (English)In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, ISSN 0340-5443, E-ISSN 1432-0762, Vol. 66, no 5, 819-821 p.Article in journal, Editorial material (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In a previous study, we found that juvenile northern wheatears (Oenanthe oenanthe) exposed to a magnetic displacement to the west of their natural migration route increased their body mass. The total intensity and inclination used for the western displacement may also have been interpreted as northern compared to the experimental site (stronger total field intensity and steeper inclination angle). In order to investigate whether the fuelling response was a response to an unexpected magnetic field or specific to the northern magnetic field, we conducted a new experiment. Juvenile wheatears from the same study population were magnetically displaced to southwestern magnetic fields, exposing the birds to unexpected magnetic combinations, but eliminating the possible effect of a northern magnetic field. A control group was kept in the local geomagnetic field in Sweden for comparison. There was no difference in body mass increase between treatments, suggesting that the fuelling response previously found was not a simple response to an unexpected magnetic field, but rather a specific response to the northern magnetic field. Juvenile wheatears may have developed a fuelling response to northern magnetic fields in order to enable a successful flight towards the migration goal.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 66, no 5, 819-821 p.
Keyword [en]
Magnetic field, Fuelling, Migration programs, Northern wheatear
National Category
Ecology Zoology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-80765DOI: 10.1007/s00265-012-1333-4ISI: 000302815300019OAI: diva2:557639


Available from: 2012-09-28 Created: 2012-09-27 Last updated: 2014-10-28Bibliographically approved

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Kullberg, Cecilia
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