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14 June 2023 Post-Fledging Survival and Dispersal of the White-Throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus
Stanislav Bureš, Michal Baláž, Denisa Slavkovská, Karel Weidinger
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The post-fledging period is still an understudied stage of avian life cycle, even in the case of otherwise frequently studied species. The general breeding biology of the White-throated Dipper is known well, but only a few studies have focused on survival and dispersal during the post-fledging period. In this study we report on results revealed by radio-telemetry, a method which has not been used in the species to date. Nestlings (37 individuals from 9 nests) in a mountain population of central Slovakia were radio-tagged on the mean expected fledging age (22 days post-hatch) and monitored daily until death, disappearance or reaching independence. Only 22–32% (depending on the handling of uncertain data) of fledglings survived the first 12 days post-fledging. Predation was the most frequently suspected cause of death. The daily survival rate was markedly lower during the first two days after fledging (0.717–0.758) than later (0.914–0.941). The daily movement distance remained stable during the first week post-fledging and increased around the age of reaching independence (c. 12 days post-fledging). On the other hand, the distance from the natal nest and the within-brood distance (length of river occupied by fledglings from the same nest) increased gradually since fledging. We propose that in our study population the low post-fledging survival could be potentially balanced by frequent renesting and/or double-brooding, timing of which corresponds well with the age of reaching independence when juvenile birds disperse outside the natal territory.

Stanislav Bureš, Michal Baláž, Denisa Slavkovská, and Karel Weidinger "Post-Fledging Survival and Dispersal of the White-Throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus," Acta Ornithologica 57(2), 125-133, (14 June 2023).
Received: 1 January 2022; Accepted: 1 November 2022; Published: 14 June 2023
juvenile mortality
natal dispersal
post-fledging survival
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