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1 December 2014 Moulting and Wintering Grounds of Marsh Warblers Acrocephalus palustris: Evidence from Stable Isotopes and Ring Recoveries
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Abstract

We analysed stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope ratios in Marsh Warbler Acrocephalus palustris feathers sampled in Europe and Africa to assess non-breeding habitat selection and location of wintering grounds of different breeding populations. Feather δ13C values showed that Marsh Warblers occupy a biome dominated by C4 vegetation during the stopover in northeastern Africa, whereas C3 habitats are used during the complete moult in southern Africa. East European Marsh Warblers differed in their stable isotope profiles from other European regions, suggesting a certain level of population segregation in southern Africa. A dual-isotope assignment approach confirmed this difference and helped us restrict the autumn staging areas to lower elevations of the Ethiopian Highlands west of the Rift valley. Available ring recoveries, however, suggested high levels of population mixing both on migration through East Africa and in the final wintering grounds.

Petr Procházka, Jelena Kralj, David J. Pearson, and Elizabeth Yohannes "Moulting and Wintering Grounds of Marsh Warblers Acrocephalus palustris: Evidence from Stable Isotopes and Ring Recoveries," Acta Ornithologica 49(2), 193-200, (1 December 2014). https://doi.org/10.3161/173484714X687073
Received: 1 July 2013; Accepted: 1 November 2014; Published: 1 December 2014
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