Migration routes and timing in a bird wintering in South Asia, the Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus
2016 (English)In: Journal of Ornithology, ISSN 2193-7192, E-ISSN 2193-7206, Vol. 157, no 3, 671-679 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Only few bird species from Western Europe migrate eastward to wintering areas in South Asia, and little is known about this migratory flyway. The Common Rosefinch has in the past century expanded its breeding range westward to include Western Europe and migrate along this flyway to wintering sites in South Asia. This is the first study describing the migration routes of Common Rosefinches between Europe and Asia in detail, revealed by light level geolocators. The rosefinches showed loop-migration with more northerly routes in autumn than in spring, possibly in order to shorten the flight over the Central Asian deserts, which are very inhospitable at this time of the year. In spring the deserts are less dry and richer in vegetation, which may have supported the more southerly routes. During autumn migration the birds used several staging sites in Central Asia for prolonged periods. Although the birds passed over mountain regions at this time, which potentially act as barriers to them, the length of the stops seem unrealistically long for only fuel deposition. Instead, this suggests that the birds temporarily suspended migration to take advantage of abundant and predictable food sources in this region. During spring migration the birds made a few longer stops while still in north India or Central Asia, before migrating at fast speeds towards the breeding grounds. The birds covered 4–5000 km with only very short stopovers and thus most of the fuel used on spring migration must have been accumulated in Asia. Our results thus indicate that Central Asia, and north India, are important staging areas for this species in both autumn and spring. During winter, birds used two sites located several hundred kilometres apart, and relocation was probably a response to local food availability.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 157, no 3, 671-679 p.
Carpodacus erythrinus, Common Rosefinch, Migration, Flyway, Geolocator
Research subject Ethology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-126966DOI: 10.1007/s10336-016-1329-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-126966DiVA: diva2:904546