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1 November 2009 Timing of Migration and Patterns of Winter Settlement by Henslow's Sparrows
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Abstract

Fall arrival is an important period in the life history of migratory birds because processes during this period determine where birds spend the winter, which is linked to subsequent survival and condition at the time of spring migration. Henslow's Sparrows (Ammodramus henslowii) winter in savannas of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris), but their secretive behavior limits our knowledge of their winter ecology, including behavioral processes that lead to their documented preference of an ephemeral habitat—recently burned savannas. We expected that upon arrival Henslow's Sparrows actively seek out recently burned savannas and that their over-winter location is dependent on intraspecific interactions during the arrival period. We conducted a 2-year mark—recapture study in southeastern Louisiana longleaf pine savannas to examine these predictions. Bird densities were highest in savannas burned during the previous growing season. There was a large turnover of transient individuals in October and early November, but the proportion of dispersing birds was not related to the number of years since fire or to the bird's age or sex. Early-season movements did not result in skewed age or sex distributions associated with years since fire, suggesting the lack of a class-mediated competitive hierarchy. Birds were then site faithful from late November through spring departure, which began in March and lasted through mid April, with males departing first.

© 2009 by The Cooper Ornithological Society. All rights reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions website, http://www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintInfo.asp.
Erik I. Johnson, Jennifer K. DiMiceli, and Philip C. Stouffer "Timing of Migration and Patterns of Winter Settlement by Henslow's Sparrows," The Condor 111(4), 730-739, (1 November 2009). https://doi.org/10.1525/cond.2009.080025
Received: 8 September 2008; Accepted: 1 July 2009; Published: 1 November 2009
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