Breeding latitude drives individual schedules in a trans-hemispheric migrant bird

Conklin, Jesse R.; Battley, Phil F.; Potter, Murray A.; Fox, James W.. 2010 Breeding latitude drives individual schedules in a trans-hemispheric migrant bird. Nature Communications, 1 (67). 1-6.

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Despite clear benefits of optimal arrival time on breeding grounds, migration schedules may vary with an individual bird's innate quality, non-breeding habitat or breeding destination. Here, we show that for the bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica baueri), a shorebird that makes the longest known non-stop migratory flights of any bird, timing of migration for individual birds from a non-breeding site in New Zealand was strongly correlated with their specific breeding latitudes in Alaska, USA, a 16,000-18,000 km journey away. Furthermore, this variation carried over even to the southbound return migration, 6 months later, with birds returning to New Zealand in approximately the same order in which they departed. These tightly scheduled movements on a global scale suggest endogenously controlled routines, with breeding site as the primary driver of temporal variation throughout the annual cycle.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Other Special Projects
ISSN: 2041-1723
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 21 Dec 2010 09:44 +0 (UTC)

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