Changes in migration phenology and biometrical traits of Reed, Marsh and Sedge Warblers

Szilvia Kovács, Péter Fehérvári, Krisztina Nagy, Andrea Harnos, Tibor Csörgő
2012 Open Life Sciences  
AbstractGlobal environmental processes like climate change could severely affect population level migratory behaviour of long range migrant birds. We analyzed changes in migration phenology and biometrics of three closely-related long-distance migrant Acrocephalus species. We used the records of 12 063 Sedge, 12 913 Reed, and 5 409 Marsh Warblers caught and ringed between 1989–2009, at a Hungarian stopover site. Quantile regressions were used to analyse the changes in spring and autumn
more » ... and autumn migration phenology. Median spring arrival date of Sedge and Reed Warblers shifted 6.5 and 7.5 days earlier, respectively. Autumn arrival of all species shifted one (Reed and Marsh Warblers) or two (Sedge Warbler) weeks later. Mean body mass of adult Reed and Marsh Warblers decreased in spring (by 0.3 and 0.2 grams, respectively) and in autumn (by 0.8 and 0.2 grams, respectively) while body mass of adult Sedge Warblers decreased only in autumn (by 0.4 grams). Mean wing length of all species increased significantly (range of change: 0.6–1 mm). Despite the fact that the studied species are closely related, all three have remarkably different migration strategies. However, similar patterns can be observed in the studied parameters, indicating that global processes may have general effects on these species, albeit through markedly different mechanisms.
doi:10.2478/s11535-011-0101-1 fatcat:z5d4fe6tt5gadml3ypjehvd2qe