Partial migration in inexperienced pied avocets Recurvirostra avosetta : distribution pattern and correlates

Abstract : Birds exhibit a range of wintering behaviour from strictly migrant to strictly resident species. In partially migrating ones, some birds overwinter within their breeding region (resident birds) while others, although breeding in the same area, winter far away (migrant birds). Accordingly, choosing a wintering region is a key stage in the annual life cycle of birds, notably for inexperienced first-year individuals. The present study aimed to investigate this issue, and more specifically to study the distribution pattern during winter and factors influencing the wintering behaviour of first-year pied avocets Recurvirostra avosetta. Based on a 10-yr ringing study carried out on five of the major French breeding colonies distributed along the Atlantic coast, we showed the coexistence of different wintering tactics. The resident tactic was predominant (approximately 86% of the 575 birds re-sighted), while the other birds adopted migration. Among resident individuals, two different tactics occurred: 43% of birds overwintered within their natal colony, whereas the others wintered in another site located at relatively close proximity along the French Atlantic coast. Hatching date was a consistent predictor of all wintering tactics. More specifically, the probability of migrating was the highest for early-hatched birds, and for resident ones, the probability of wintering within their natal colony rather than in another French site was the highest for both median- and late-hatched individuals. In addition, a colony effect was demonstrated for resident birds. Several biological interpretations, including social system, variations in both individual body condition and habitat quality, were put forward to explain these correlates.
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Rémi Chambon, Sébastien Dugravot, Jean-Marc Paillisson, Jean-Christophe Lemesle, Fréderic Ysnel, et al.. Partial migration in inexperienced pied avocets Recurvirostra avosetta : distribution pattern and correlates. Journal of Avian Biology, Wiley, 2018, 49 (6), pp.01549. ⟨10.1111/jav.01549⟩. ⟨hal-01860879⟩

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