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Skipping swans: fuelling rates and wind conditions determine differential use of migratory stopover sites of Bewick's Swans Cygnus bewickii

Beekman, J.H., Nolet, B.A. and Klaassen, M. 2002, Skipping swans: fuelling rates and wind conditions determine differential use of migratory stopover sites of Bewick's Swans Cygnus bewickii, Ardea, vol. 90, no. 3, pp. 437-460.

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Title Skipping swans: fuelling rates and wind conditions determine differential use of migratory stopover sites of Bewick's Swans Cygnus bewickii
Author(s) Beekman, J.H.
Nolet, B.A.
Klaassen, M.ORCID iD for Klaassen, M. orcid.org/0000-0003-3907-9599
Journal name Ardea
Volume number 90
Issue number 3
Start page 437
End page 460
Total pages 24
Publisher BioOne
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2002
ISSN 0373-2266
Keyword(s) Cygnus bewickii
Dynamic programming
Fuelling rates
Optimal migration
Satellite tracking
Wind assistance
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Ornithology
Zoology
COLUMBIANUS-BEWICKII
SPRING MIGRATION
WHITE SEA
BIRDS
TIME
PERFORMANCE
BEHAVIOR
FLIGHT
GEESE
LOADS
Summary Some migratory birds refuel at stopover sites that they by-pass on the return trip. In theory, this skipping behaviour is only expected in time-selected migrants when the overflown site is of a lower quality than the departure site. We provide empirical evidence that quality differences in stopover sites are the cause for skipping in Bewick's Swans Cygnus bewickii tracked by satellite telemetry. Two and five complete tracks were recorded in spring and autunm, respectively, showing that the White Sea was visited for c. 2 weeks in spring, but by-passed (or visited for a few days at the most) in autumn. Skipping of the White Sea in autumn was predicted by a dynamic programming model which was based on calculated gain rates during stopover in the Pechora Delta and the White Sea. This prediction was not sensitive to plausible variations in gain rates. Relative to the Pechora Delta the White Sea is a poor site because a large tidal amplitude precludes foraging on the beds of the submerged macrophyte Fennel Pondweed Potamogeton pectinatus during high tide. The dynamic programming model predicted a fast autunm migration. However, the phenology of autunm arrival dates of Bewick's Swans on the wintering grounds revealed that only in three out of ten years a significant number of birds was able to reach the wintering grounds without refuelling. In the other years, unfavourable wind conditions along the Russian/Baltic part of the route prevented such non-stop migration.
Language eng
Field of Research 060801 Animal Behaviour
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2002, BioOne
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30075851

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