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Migration routes and timing in a bird wintering in South Asia, the Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Ethology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9741-4431
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Ethology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Ethology.
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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
Abstract [en]

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.
Keyword [en]
Carpodacus erythrinus, Common Rosefinch, Migration, Flyway, Geolocator
National Category
Zoology
Research subject
Ethology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-126966DOI: 10.1007/s10336-016-1329-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-126966DiVA: diva2:904546
Available from: 2016-02-18 Created: 2016-02-18 Last updated: 2016-06-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Migratory routes and stopover behaviour in avian migration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Migratory routes and stopover behaviour in avian migration
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Migratory birds, some small and light weight as matchboxes, engage in seasonal inter-continental journeys in order to take advantage of the long summer days and abundance of food at northern latitudes to breed and raise their young, and then escape the harsh winters by migrating to lower latitudes. This thesis deals with two important aspects of migration, the routes taken during migration and the birds’ behaviour at stopovers. The migratory routes are for many species unknown, whole or in part, and this is especially true for species that migrate nocturnally. At stopovers birds replenish fuel reserves that powers migratory flight, and studying how birds utilise stopovers is important in order to understand how migration is organised. In this thesis I have used modern tracking technology to study both continental wide movements of thrush nightingales (Luscinia luscinia) and common rosefinches (Carpodacus erythrinus) using small light-level geolocators, and smaller scale movements at a single stopover site of garden warblers (Sylvia borin) using miniature radio-transmitters. I have also studied the fuelling behaviour of garden warblers during autumn migration in the field and in the lab, and great reed warblers (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) at a stopover site on Crete during spring migration after the Sahara crossing. The thesis discusses the significance of several aspects of migration shown by the birds that would have been very difficult to detect without the aid of modern tracking technology, such as loop migration, prolonged stops during migration, multiple wintering sites, and nocturnal relocations at stopover sites. Studies carried out at stopover sites also show that garden warblers and great reed warblers can attain large fuel loads even at sites where they have no barrier to cross and this might be a result of good foraging conditions. The thesis also highlights the importance of combining different techniques when studying stopover behaviour to get reliable estimates on stopover durations and fuel deposition rates as well as the importance of choosing sites preferred by birds when planning stopover studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 2016. 49 p.
Keyword
Bird migration, migration routes, stopover, geolocator, radio telemetry, tracking, fuel deposition
National Category
Behavioral Sciences Biology
Research subject
Ethology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-126975 (URN)978-91-7649-333-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-04-08, Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-salen), NPQ-huset, Svante Arrhenius väg 20, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
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Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Manuscript. Paper 5: Manuscript.

Available from: 2016-03-18 Created: 2016-02-18 Last updated: 2016-03-18Bibliographically approved

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