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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Increased Stopover Duration and Low Body Condition of the Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) at an Autumn Stopover Site

Goffin, Bernice; Felgueiras, Marcial; Hof, Anouschka R.;

Abstract

Simple SummaryMany bird species that migrate long distances are in decline partly because of environmental changes, such as climate change or land-use changes. Although much is already known on the effects of environmental change on birds that are on their spring migration or on their breeding grounds, little is known with regard to possible negative effects on birds that are on their autumn migration and visiting so-called stopover sites on their way to their wintering grounds. These stopover sites are vital for birds to refuel, and a potential deteriorating quality of the stopover sites may lead to individuals dying during migration. We investigated the impacts of local environmental conditions on the migration strategy and body condition of the Pied Flycatcher at an autumn migration stopover site using long-term ringing data and local environmental conditions. We found that although birds arrived and departed the stopover site around the same time over the years, the body condition of the individuals caught decreased, and the length of their stay at the stopover site increased. This suggests that conditions at the stopover site during the autumn migration period have deteriorated over time which may lead to the death of more birds during autumn migration.Many long-distance migratory bird species are in decline, of which environmental changes, such as climate change and land-use changes, are thought to be important drivers. The effects of environmental change on the migration of these birds have often been studied during spring migration. Fewer studies have explored the impacts of environmental change on autumn migration, especially at stopover sites. However, stopover sites are important, as the quality of these sites is expected to change over time. We investigated impacts of local environmental conditions on the migration strategy and body condition of the Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) at an autumn migration stopover site using long-term ringing data (1996-2018) and local environmental conditions. We found that although the arrival and departure dates of birds at the stopover site remained unchanged, the body condition (fat score) of the individuals caught decreased, and the stopover duration increased. This suggests that conditions at the stopover site during the autumn migration period have deteriorated over time. This study emphasizes the importance of suitable stopover sites for migratory birds and stresses that changes in environmental conditions during the autumn migration period may be contributing to the current decline in long-distance migratory passerines.

Keywords

climate change; migration strategy; movement ecology; passerines

Published in

Animals

2020, volume: 10, number: 12, article number: 2208
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Goffin, Bernice
Wageningen University and Research
Felgueiras, Marcial
A Rocha
Wageningen University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies

UKÄ Subject classification

Ecology

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122208

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/110202