Common Whitethroats Curruca communis show a continuum of residency duration but a high degree of between-years site fidelity at nonbreeding grounds in Nigeria
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The nonbreeding period represents a significant part of an Afro-Palearctic migratory bird's annual cycle. Decisions such as whether to remain at a single site and whether to return to it across years have important effects on aspects such as survival, future breeding success, migratory connectivity, and conservation. During this study, we color-ringed 337 common Whitethroats Curruca communis and undertook daily resightings to understand site persistence and the degree of site fidelity throughout three nonbreeding periods (November-April) in Nigeria. The probability of detecting a color-ringed Whitethroat when it was present was 0.33. Site persistence varied widely across individuals (1-165 days) and did not differ significantly with sex or year, though first-year birds remained for significantly shorter periods than adults. We believe that shorter residencies are likely due to the use of multiple stationary nonbreeding sites rather than low winter survival. A minimum of 19% of individuals returned to the study site the following year and shifted, on average, 300 m, suggesting that Whitethroats have a relatively high degree of between-years site fidelity at a very fine scale. An individual's previous residency duration did not seem to determine its residency duration the following year. We suggest that spatial fidelity is high and constant through years, but temporal fidelity is not, and individual residency patterns vary, probably according to yearly and seasonal conditions. Our results highlight the complexity of the annual cycle of a single species and the importance of carrying out in situ, fine-scale research throughout a migrant's annual cycle over several years.
Tapia-Harris , C & Cresswell , W 2022 , ' Common Whitethroats Curruca communis show a continuum of residency duration but a high degree of between-years site fidelity at nonbreeding grounds in Nigeria ' , Ecology and Evolution , vol. 12 , no. 9 , e9334 . https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.9334
Ecology and Evolution
Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DescriptionFunding: A.P. Leventis Conservation Foundation, Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT). Grant Number: 472286.
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