A puzzling migratory detour : are fueling conditions in Alaska driving the movement of juvenile sharp-tailed sandpipers?

Lindstrom, Ake, Gill Jr., Robert E., Jamieson, Sarah E., McCaffery, Brian, Wennerberg, Liv, Wikelski, Martin and Klaassen, Marcel 2011, A puzzling migratory detour : are fueling conditions in Alaska driving the movement of juvenile sharp-tailed sandpipers?, Condor, vol. 113, no. 1, pp. 129-139, doi: 10.1525/cond.2011.090171.

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Title A puzzling migratory detour : are fueling conditions in Alaska driving the movement of juvenile sharp-tailed sandpipers?
Author(s) Lindstrom, Ake
Gill Jr., Robert E.
Jamieson, Sarah E.
McCaffery, Brian
Wennerberg, Liv
Wikelski, Martin
Klaassen, MarcelORCID iD for Klaassen, Marcel orcid.org/0000-0003-3907-9599
Journal name Condor
Volume number 113
Issue number 1
Start page 129
End page 139
Total pages 11
Publisher University of California Press, Journals Division
Place of publication Berkeley, Ca.
Publication date 2011-02
ISSN 0010-5422
Keyword(s) calidris acuminate
body mass
fat stores
age-segregated migration
Summary Making a detour can be advantageous to a migrating bird if fuel-deposition rates at stopover sites along the detour are considerably higher than at stopover sites along a more direct route. One example of an extensive migratory detour is that of the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata), of which large numbers of juveniles are found during fall migration in western Alaska. These birds take a detour of 1500-3400 km from the most direct route between their natal range in northeastern Siberia and nonbreeding areas in Australia. We studied the autumnal fueling rates and fuel loads of 357 Sharp-tailed Sandpipers captured in western Alaska. In early September the birds increased in mass at a rate of only 0.5% of lean body mass day-1. Later in September, the rate of mass increase was about 6% of lean body mass day-1, among the highest values found among similar-sized shorebirds around the world. Some individuals more than doubled their body mass because of fuel deposition, allowing nonstop flight of between 7100 and 9800 km, presumably including a trans-oceanic flight to the southern hemisphere. Our observations indicated that predator attacks were rare in our study area, adding another potential benefit of the detour. We conclude that the most likely reason for the Alaskan detour is that it allows juvenile Sharp-tailed Sandpipers to put on large fuel stores at exceptionally high rates.
Language eng
DOI 10.1525/cond.2011.090171
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, The Cooper Ornithological Society
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30040419

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