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On 4 June 2008 Siberian Red Knots at Elbe Mouth kissed the canonical evening migration departure rule goodbye

Leyrer, Jutta, Pruiksma, Sytze and Piersma, Theunis 2009, On 4 June 2008 Siberian Red Knots at Elbe Mouth kissed the canonical evening migration departure rule goodbye, Ardea, vol. 97, no. 1, pp. 71-79, doi: 10.5253/078.097.0109.

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Title On 4 June 2008 Siberian Red Knots at Elbe Mouth kissed the canonical evening migration departure rule goodbye
Author(s) Leyrer, Jutta
Pruiksma, Sytze
Piersma, Theunis
Journal name Ardea
Volume number 97
Issue number 1
Start page 71
End page 79
Publisher Netherlands Ornithologists' Union
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2009
ISSN 0373-2266
Keyword(s) Calidris canutus canutus
vocalization
twilight advantages
shorebirds
migration
long-distance flights
diurnal timing
Summary Observations of departing Siberian-breeding Red Knots Calidris canutus canutus from their central staging site during northward migration, the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea, Germany, in early June 2008, challenge the established notion that departing long-distance migrating waders only leave around sunset. During four days we scanned several thousand Red Knots for colour-ringed individuals and found a total of 20 different individuals that were previously ringed at either their main wintering site, the Banc d'Arguin in Mauritania, or at stopover sites on the Atlantic coast of France. Body masses of captured Red Knots in Schleswig-Holstein were higher than 200 g and hematocrite values showed an average of 58%, clearly indicating that they were ready for take-off. On all except one evening, we noted impressive departure movements during the incoming tide. On that exceptional evening a cold front thunderstorm passed over the area. Late the next morning, thousands of Red Knots departed during the incoming tide. We assume that the birds avoided taking off in adverse weather conditions and elaborate why Red Knots presumably traded off advantages from departing during twilight. We suggest that during spring migration, schedules are so tight that further delays decrease fitness, either because it would cause another full day of exposure to high predation risk by falcons, or because of conditions upon arrival on the tundra.
Language eng
DOI 10.5253/078.097.0109
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, Netherlands Ornithologists' Union
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30039237

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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