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Sex differences in the stopover ecology of Curlew Sandpipers Calidris ferruginea at a refuelling area during autumn migration

AuthorsFiguerola, Jordi ; Bertolero, Albert
Issue Date1998
PublisherTaylor & Francis
CitationBird Study (1998) 45, 313—319
AbstractWe investigated the stopover patterns of male and female Curlew Sandpipers at a stopover area in northeast Spain. Curlew Sandpipers were trapped and colour-ringed during autumn migration in 1992 and 1993. Stopover length was similar to those reported previously for this and other waders that migrate using a small number of widely separated staging areas, but were greater than stopovers reported for other waders that migrate using a large number of staging areas separated by short distances. The differences in stopover length between the birds using these two strategies could be related to the fuel reserves that have to be accumulated to reach the next staging area. Males stayed longer in the area than females. Seasonal changes in prey availability or sex differences in moulting and migratory patterns do not account for these differences in stopover ecology. Following a time-selected model of optimal migration, sex differences in stopover ecology could be related to a dominance of the larger females over the males or to a higher foraging efficiency or a shorter search and settling time in females. Whether these differences are restricted to the studied area or are widespread in other staging areas used by the species could be important for assessing the possible differences in the migration speed of Curlew Sandpipers. The finding that males leave the breeding grounds 22—35 days before females but arrive at the study area with only a 10-day difference supports the hypothesis that females migrate faster than males at least in the first half of their migration
Publisher version (URL)http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00063659809461102
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