We radio-marked 18 Dunlin, Calidris alpina (L., 1758), at San Francisco Bay, California, and 11 Dunlin at Grays Harbor, Washington, and relocated 90% of them along the 4200 km long coastline from north of San Francisco Bay to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. The Copper River Delta, Alaska, was the single most important stopover site, with 79% of the marked birds detected there. Our second most important site was the Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor complex of wetlands in Washington. The mean length of stay past banding sites ranged from 1.0 to 3.8 days. Controlling for date of departure, birds banded at San Francisco Bay had higher rates of travel to the Copper River Delta than those banded at Grays Harbor. The later a bird left a capture site, the faster it traveled to the Copper River Delta. Length of stay at the Copper River Delta was inversely related to arrival date. We did not find any effect of sex on travel rate or length of stay. Combining the results of this study with our previous work on Western Sandpipers, Calidris mauri (Cabanis, 1875), reveals variation of migration strategies used within and among shorebird species along the eastern Pacific Flyway. ?? 2004 NRC.
Additional publication details
Migration and stopover strategies of individual Dunlin along the Pacific coast of North America