Migration pattern of Gambel’s White-crowned Sparrow along the Pacific Flyway


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simeon.lisovski [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) populations of western North America exhibit dramatic differences in life history strategies including migration behavior. However, individual migration strategies and population-level migratory patterns remain largely unknown for this species. Here, we focused on the long-distance migratory subspecies, Gambel’s White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii). We used ringing, tracking and stable hydrogen isotope (δ2H) analysis of individuals migrating along the Pacific Flyway to assess individual phenology and routes as well as the pattern of connectivity between breeding and non-breeding sites. Results from all three methods, consisting of 79 ring recoveries, four light level geolocator tracks and 388 feather δ2H values, indicate low degrees of migratory connectivity. The isotope data provide evidence for leapfrog migration with the more southerly populations traveling greater distances to the breeding grounds than more centrally wintering individuals. Location estimates of four annual journeys revealed individually consistent migration strategies with relatively short flight bouts separated by two to three and two to six stopover sites during spring and autumn migration, respectively. However, combined results from all methods indicate high variability in migration distance among individuals. These findings confirm the phenotypic flexibility observed within this species and highlight the potential of White-crowned Sparrows for further investigations of evolutionary adaptations to ongoing changes in the environment.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
52164
DOI 10.1007/s10336-019-01685-4

Cite as
Lisovski, S. , Németh, Z. , Wingfield, J. C. , Krause, J. S. , Hobson, K. A. , Seavy, N. E. , Gee, J. and Ramenofsky, M. (2019): Migration pattern of Gambel’s White-crowned Sparrow along the Pacific Flyway , Journal of Ornithology, 160 (4), pp. 1097-1107 . doi: 10.1007/s10336-019-01685-4


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