Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Animal Migration

Ed. by Davis, Andrew

Open Access
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Geolocators reveal three consecutive wintering areas in the thrush nightingale

Robert Stach / Sven Jakobsson / Cecilia Kullberg / Thord Fransson
  • Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Box 50 007, S-104 05 Stockholm, Sweden
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2012-08-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/ami-2012-0001

Geolocators reveal three consecutive wintering areas in the thrush nightingale

The winter distribution of many migratory birds wintering in tropical Africa is poorly known. After the crossing of the Sahara Desert, some long-distance migrants typically stay in the Sahel zone for an extended period before continuing migration to their main wintering areas south of the equator. Here we show how two thrush nightingales (Luscinia luscinia) fitted with light-level geolocators, after a six to seven week long stay in the Sahel zone of Sudan, moved to an intermediate area in northern Kenya for a month-long stay before continuing to their final wintering areas in southern Africa. These data indicate that thrush nightingales may use three consecutive wintering sites during their stay in Africa. The migratory movements in Africa between wintering sites are well-coordinated with high precipitation in these areas, suggesting that thrush nightingales track peaks of insect abundance occurring after rains. This three-stage wintering strategy has, to our knowledge, previously not been described, and shows that long-distance migrants can have complex wintering behaviour.

Keywords: Bird migration; Africa; Sahel region; Geolocator; Stopover; Wintering pattern; Thrush nightingale; Luscinia luscinia

  • Hill R.D., Braun M.J., Geolocation by light level - The next step: Latitude, In: Sibert J.R., Nielsen J.L., Electronic Tagging and Tracking in Marine Fisheries, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 2001Google Scholar

  • Rodriguez A, Negro J.J., Bustamante J., Fox J.W., Afanasyev V., Geolocators map the wintering grounds of threatened Lesser Kestrel in Africa, Diversity Distrib. 2009, 15, 1010-1016Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Niles L.J., Burger J., Porter R.R., Dey A.D., Minton C.D.T., Gonzales P.M., et al., First results using light level geolocators to track Red Knots in the Western Hemisphere show rapid and long intercontinental flights and new details of migration pathways, Wader Study Group Bulletin, 2010, 117, 123-130Google Scholar

  • Stutchbury B.J.M., Tarof S.A., Done T., Gow E., Kramer P.M., Tautin J., et al., Tracking long-distance songbird migration by using geolocators, Science, 2009, 323, 896Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Seavy N.E., Humple D.L., Cormier R.L., Gardali T., Establishing the breeding provenance of a temperate-wintering North American passerine, the Golden-Crowned Sparrow, using light-level geolocation, PloS one, 2012, e34886Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Schmaljohann H., Buchmann M., Fox J.W., Bairlein F., Tracking migration routes and the annual cycle of a trans-Sahara songbird migrant, Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., 2012, 66, 915-922Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Tøttrup A.P., Klaassen R.H.G., Strandberg R., Thorup K., Kristensen M.W., Jørgensen P.S., et al., The annual cycle of a trans-equatorial Eurasian-African passerine migrant: different spatio-temporal strategies for autumn and spring migration, Proc. R. Soc. B, 2012, 279, 1008-1016Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Bairlein F., Norris D.R., Nagel R., Bulte M., Voigt C.C., Fox J.W., et al., Cross-hemisphere migration of a 25 g songbird, Biol. Lett. 2012, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2011.1223CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Heckscher C.M., Taylor S.M., Fox J.W., Afanasyev V., Veery (Catharus fuscescens) wintering locations, migratory connectivity, and a revision of its winter range using geolocator technology, Auk, 2011, 128, 531-542Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Cramp, S., Handbook of the Birds of Europe the Middle East and North Africa. The birds of the Western Palaearctic. Volume V Tyrant Flycatchers to Thrushes, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1988Google Scholar

  • Sorjonen J., Selection of breeding habitat by the Thrush Nightingale Luscinia luscinia and its position in bird communities, Ornis Scandinavica, 1980, 11, 125-134Google Scholar

  • Fransson T., Jakobsson S., Kullberg, C., Non-random distribution of ring recoveries from trans-Saharan migrants indicates species-specific stopover areas, J. Avian Biol., 2005, 36, 6-11Google Scholar

  • Alerstam T., Bird Migration, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1993Google Scholar

  • Pearson D., Backhurst G., The southward migration of Palaearctic birds over Ngulia, Kenya, Ibis, 1976, 118, 78-105Google Scholar

  • Sinclair A.R.E., Factors affecting the food supply and breeding season of resident birds and movements of palaearctic migrants in a tropical african savannah, Ibis, 1978, 120, 480-497Google Scholar

  • Denlinger D.L., Seasonal and annual variation of insect abundance in the Nairobi National Park, Kenya, Biotropica, 1980, 12, 100-106Google Scholar

  • Nicholson S.E., Davenport M.L., Malo A.R., A comparison of the vegetation response to rainfall in the Sahel and East Africa, using normalized difference vegetation index from NOAA AVHRR, Climatic Change, 1990, 17, 209-241Google Scholar

  • Nicholson S.E., The nature of rainfall variability over Africa on time scales of decades to millenia, Global and Planetary Change, 2000, 26, 137-158Google Scholar

  • Pearson D.J., Lack P.C., Migration patterns and habitat use by passerine and near-passerine migrant birds in eastern Africa, Ibis, 1992, 134, 89-98Google Scholar

  • Fox J.W., Geolocator manual version 8, British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, 2010Google Scholar

  • Hill R.D., Braun M.J., Geolocation by light level - The next step: Latitude, In: Sibert J.R., Nielsen J.L., Electronic Tagging and Tracking in Marine Fisheries, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 2001Google Scholar

  • Fudickar A.M., Wikelski M., Partecke J., Tracking migratory songbirds: accuracy of light-level loggers (geolocators) in forest habitats, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 2012, 3, 47-52Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Hill R.D., Theory of geolocation by light levels, In: Le Boeuf B.J., Laws R.M (Eds.), Elephant seals: Population Ecology, Behavior, and Physiology, University of California Press, Berkley, 1994Google Scholar

  • Ekstrom P.A., An advance in geolocation by light, Mem. Natl. Inst. Polar Res., Spec. Issue, 2004, 58, 210-226Google Scholar

  • Pütz K., Spatial and Temporal Variability in the Foraging Areas of Breeding King Penguins, Condor, 2011, 104, 528-538Google Scholar

  • Phillips R., Silk J., Croxall J., Afanasyev V., Briggs D., Accuracy of geolocation estimates for flying seabirds, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 2004, 266, 265-272Google Scholar

  • Lack P.C., The movements of palaearctic landbird migrants in Tsavo East National Park, Kenya, J. Anim. Ecol., 1983, 52, 513-524Google Scholar

  • Hogg P., Dare P., Rintoul J., Palaearctic migrants in the central Sudan, Ibis, 1984, 126, 307-331Google Scholar

  • Ash J., Luscinia megarhynchos and L. luscinia in Ethiopia, Ibis, 1973, 115, 267-269Google Scholar

  • Gwinner E., Circannual clocks in avian reproduction and migration, Ibis, 1996, 138, 47-63Google Scholar

  • Fransson T., Jakobsson S., Johansson P., Kullberg C., Lind J., Vallin A., Magnetic cues trigger extensive refuelling, Nature, 2001, 414, 35-36Google Scholar

  • Kullberg C., Lind J., Fransson T., Jakobsson S., Vallin A., Magnetic cues and time of season affect fuel deposition in migratory Thrush Nightingales (Luscinia luscinia), Proc. R. Soc. B, 2003, 270, 373-378Google Scholar

  • Henshaw I., Fransson T., Jakobsson S., Lind J., Vallin A., Kullberg C., Food intake and fuel deposition in a migratory bird is affected by multiple as well as single-step changes in the magnetic field, J. Exp. Biol., 2008, 211, 649-653Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

About the article

Received: 2012-03-29

Accepted: 2012-06-05

Published Online: 2012-08-08

Published in Print: 2012-01-01

Citation Information: Animal Migration, Volume 1, Pages 1–7, ISSN (Online) 2084-8838, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/ami-2012-0001.

Export Citation

This content is open access.

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Susanne Åkesson, Mihaela Ilieva, Julia Karagicheva, Eldar Rakhimberdiev, Barbara Tomotani, and Barbara Helm
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2017, Volume 372, Number 1734, Page 20160252
A. Van Loon, J. D. Ray, A. Savage, J. Mejeur, L. Moscar, M. Pearson, M. Pearman, G. T. Hvenegaard, N. Mickle, K. Applegate, and K. C. Fraser
Journal of Ornithology, 2017, Volume 158, Number 3, Page 745
Marjorie C. Sorensen, Graham D. Fairhurst, Susanne Jenni-Eiermann, Jason Newton, Elizabeth Yohannes, and Claire N. Spottiswoode
BMC Ecology, 2016, Volume 16, Number 1
Alex E. Jahn, Jose I. Giraldo, Maggie MacPherson, Diego T. Tuero, José Hernán Sarasola, Joaquin Cereghetti, Diego A. Masson, and Marvin V. Morales
Journal of Field Ornithology, 2016, Volume 87, Number 2, Page 143
Raül Ramos, Gang Song, Joan Navarro, Ruiying Zhang, Craig T. Symes, Manuela G. Forero, and Fumin Lei
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 2016, Volume 99, Page 194
Robert Stach, Cecilia Kullberg, Sven Jakobsson, Kåre Ström, and Thord Fransson
Journal of Ornithology, 2016, Volume 157, Number 3, Page 671
Piotr Matyjasiak, Diego Rubolini, Maria Romano, and Nicola Saino
Journal of Ornithology, 2016, Volume 157, Number 3, Page 653
Susanne Åkesson and Giuseppe Bianco
Behavioral Ecology, 2016, Volume 27, Number 3, Page 865
Rob S. A. van Bemmelen, Johannes Hungar, Ingrid Tulp, and Raymond H. G. Klaassen
Journal of Avian Biology, 2016, Volume 47, Number 3, Page 295
Jared D. Wolfe and Erik I. Johnson
Journal of Field Ornithology, 2015, Volume 86, Number 3, Page 238
Robert Stach, Thord Fransson, Sven Jakobsson, and Cecilia Kullberg
Journal of Avian Biology, 2015, Volume 46, Number 3, Page 315
Alex E. Jahn, Víctor R. Cueto, James W. Fox, Michael S. Husak, Daniel H. Kim, Diane V. Landoll, Jesús Pinto Ledezma, Heather K. LePage, Douglas J. Levey, Michael T. Murphy, and Rosalind B. Renfrew
The Auk, 2013, Volume 130, Number 2, Page 247
Andrew J. Laughlin, Caz M. Taylor, David W. Bradley, Dayna LeClair, Robert G. Clark, Russell D. Dawson, Peter O. Dunn, Andrew Horn, Marty Leonard, Daniel R. Sheldon, Dave Shutler, Linda A. Whittingham, David W. Winkler, and D. Ryan Norris
The Auk, 2013, Volume 130, Number 2, Page 230
Eli S. Bridge, Jeffrey F. Kelly, Andrea Contina, Richard M. Gabrielson, Robert B. MacCurdy, and David W. Winkler
Journal of Field Ornithology, 2013, Volume 84, Number 2, Page 121
Cecilia Nilsson, Raymond H. G. Klaassen, and Thomas Alerstam
The American Naturalist, 2013, Volume 181, Number 6, Page 837

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in