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Journal Articles Scientific Reports Year : 2019

Desert crossing strategies of migrant songbirds vary between and within species

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Malcolm Burgess
  • Function : Author
Kasper Thorup
  • Function : Author
Greg Conway
  • Function : Author
José Luis Arroyo Matos
  • Function : Author
Lee Barber
  • Function : Author
John Black
  • Function : Author
Niall Burton
  • Function : Author
Joan Castelló
  • Function : Author
Gary Clewley
  • Function : Author
José Luis Copete
  • Function : Author
Michel Alexandre Czajkowski
  • Function : Author
Svein Dale
  • Function : Author
Tony Davis
  • Function : Author
Valery Dombrovski
  • Function : Author
Mike Drew
  • Function : Author
Jaanus Elts
Vicky Gilson
  • Function : Author
Ian Henderson
  • Function : Author
Michael Holdsworth
  • Function : Author
Rob Husbands
  • Function : Author
Riho Marja
Tuomas Seimola
  • Function : Author
Simonas Minkevicius
  • Function : Author
Peter Olsson
  • Function : Author
Alejandro Onrubia
  • Function : Author
Marc Perez
  • Function : Author
Joseph Piacentini
  • Function : Author
Markus Piha
  • Function : Author
Petr Procházka
  • Function : Author
Marko Raković
  • Function : Author
Harriet Robins
  • Function : Author
Gunnar Selstam
  • Function : Author
Michał Skierczyński
  • Function : Author
Jan Sondell
  • Function : Author
Anders P. Tøttrup
  • Function : Author
Justin Walker
  • Function : Author
Chris Hewson
  • Function : Author

Abstract

Each year, billions of songbirds cross large ecological barriers during their migration. Understanding how they perform this incredible task is crucial to predict how global change may threaten the safety of such journeys. earlier studies based on radar suggested that most songbirds cross deserts in intermittent flights at high altitude, stopping in the desert during the day, while recent tracking with light loggers suggested diurnal prolongation of nocturnal flights and common non-stop flights for some species. We analyzed light intensity and temperature data obtained from geolocation loggers deployed on 130 individuals of ten migratory songbird species, and show that a large variety of strategies for crossing deserts exists between, but also sometimes within species. Diurnal stopover in the desert is a common strategy in autumn, while most species prolonged some nocturnal flights into the day. Nonstop flights over the desert occurred more frequently in spring than in autumn, and more frequently in foliage gleaners. Temperature recordings suggest that songbirds crossed deserts with flight bouts performed at various altitudes according to species and season, along a gradient ranging from low above ground in autumn to probably >2000 m above ground level, and possibly at higher altitude in spring. High-altitude flights are therefore not the general rule for crossing deserts in migrant songbirds. We conclude that a diversity of migration strategies exists for desert crossing among songbirds, with variations between but also within species.
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Dates and versions

mnhn-02552949 , version 1 (23-04-2020)

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Frédéric Jiguet, Malcolm Burgess, Kasper Thorup, Greg Conway, José Luis Arroyo Matos, et al.. Desert crossing strategies of migrant songbirds vary between and within species. Scientific Reports, 2019, 9, pp.20248. ⟨10.1038/s41598-019-56677-4⟩. ⟨mnhn-02552949⟩
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