Philopatry to stopover site and body condition of transient reed warblers during autumn migration through Israel

K. Merom, Y. Yom-Tov, R. McCleery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Philopatry to stopover site and changes in body condition of migrating reed warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) were studied in the Bet She'an Valley, Israel, where they were netted throughout the year. Although the majority of birds were seen only once, the proportion of transients seen twice or more in different years is comparable to the figure for summer residents returning between the years, indicating a high degree of philopatry among transients. Transients get heavier with longer duration of stay, up to about 15 days, after which increase in mass appears to level off at about 3 g. Change in body condition, taken to be mass divided by wing length, was also noted, albeit of less significance. The mean date of arrival in the autumn of birds in their first year was about 20 days later than that of older birds. Reed warblers use their time effectively to replenish body mass and improve their condition before starting the dangerous crossing of the Sahara Desert.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168
Number of pages1
JournalIsrael Journal of Zoology
Volume46
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

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