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Title: Migratory stopover timing is predicted by breeding latitude, not habitat quality, in a long-distance migratory songbird

The timing of migration can have important survival impacts, as birds must synchronize their movements with favourable environmental conditions to reach their destination. The timing of arrival at and duration of migratory stopover may be largely governed by environmental conditions experienced en route as well as by endogenous factors, but our understanding of these processes is limited. We used light-level geolocators to collect start-to-finish spatio-temporal migration data for a declining aerial insectivore, the Purple Martin ( Progne subis), that travels seasonally between North and South America. Using data obtained for birds originating from range-wide breeding populations, our objectives were to test intrinsic and extrinsic hypotheses for migration stopover duration as well as to identify important stopover regions during fall migration. We examined whether breeding latitude, fall migration timing, age, sex or habitat quality at stopover sites (measured using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) influenced the duration of stopovers. We found that most individuals rely on the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Honduras, and Nicaragua for stopovers during fall migration, where duration ranged from 1 to 36 days (average 6.8 ± 8.2). Stopovers in these regions were later and of longer duration for more northern breeding populations. Only breeding latitude predictedmore » stopover duration, and not habitat quality at stopovers, lending support to the hypothesis that duration is prescribed by endogenous factors. Lastly, the important core stopover regions we documented could be targeted for conservation efforts, particularly for steeply-declining, more northern breeding populations that have greater stopover duration in these areas.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Manitoba, Winnipeg (Canada)
  2. Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC, Amarillo, TX (United States)
  3. Disney's Animals Science and Environment, Lake Buena Vista, FL (United States)
  4. Ellis Bird Farm, Lacombe (Canada)
  5. Univ. of Alberta, Camrose (Canada)
  6. Woodbridge (United States)
  7. Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Onamia, MN (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2193-7192
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Ornithology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 158; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 2193-7192
Journal of Ornithology
Research Org:
Pantex Plant (PTX), Amarillo, TX (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; migration phenology; migration behavior; aerial insectivore; direct tracking; geolocator
OSTI Identifier: