Age- and sex-specific strategies of spring migration in the masked shrike are reflected in a differential response to winter climate conditions

Irith Aloni, Yaron Ziv, Shai Markman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Adult males of many migratory species arrive at breeding grounds before females and young. In a 34-year study of the masked shrike, Lanius nubicus, an age- and sex-specific pattern of spring arrival was distinguished. Adult males arrived first followed by juvenile males and adult females, whereas juvenile females appeared last. We hypothesized that these differences in migratory strategies would be reflected in a differential response to climate conditions at the wintering grounds. Testing correlations between spring arrival time and winter climate conditions provided strong support to our hypothesis. Adult males’ arrival time exhibited high associations with climate conditions in early spring, upon migratory take-off, whereas juvenile males responded mostly to conditions in November, upon autumn arrival in Africa. Adult females responded to both parameters in autumn and early spring, whereas young females’ arrival correlated only with a few variables in autumn. GLM models of median spring arrival day for all categories but the young females were highly statistically significant with adjusted R-squared values of 0.81–0.93. The emerging pattern of different associations between timing of spring migration and climate conditions at the wintering grounds sheds new light on existing evolutionary theories regarding age- and sex-specific migratory strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100028
JournalClimate Change Ecology
Volume2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Birds
  • Climate change
  • Climate variables
  • Masked shrike
  • Spring migration
  • Wintering grounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Global and Planetary Change

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