Recent research on reproduction in animals has emphasized phenology and prey matching in the long term and on large spatial scales (e.g., linked to global climate change). We studied how individuals within one reproductive cycle and at small spatial scales may try to maximize access to food resources that vary in space and time. Herbivorous mammals are known to track favorable phenological stages of their food plants and move seasonally on the landscape. Whether phenology similarly affects spatial movements of birds on their breeding grounds is largely unknown. We studied postfledging movements of Blue Tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and Great Tits (Parus major) when the young were escorted by parents during 19 to 43 days posthatching. This was done over 4 years in a 1.6-km2 woodland area in Norway in which an elevational gradient (105–266 m) caused a phenological delay in vegetation and peak abundance of caterpillar prey at the higher elevations. Postfledging movements were similar in the two tit species, with a mean distance moved from the nest to the site of observation of 134 m (range: 6–1,036, n = 104). On average, families moved upslope (mean = 4.8 m, range: -23 to 69 m; P = 0.002, n = 104), which suggests that they were able to track environmental phenology. However, most families did not move far from the nest site, possibly because the parents tried to defend a year-round territory and, therefore, could not afford to leave for longer periods.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 130 • No. 1