Seasonal movement, residency, and migratory patterns of Wilson's Snipe (Gallinago delicata)

The Auk
By:  and 



Cross-seasonal studies of avian movement establish links between geographically distinct wintering, breeding, and migratory stopover locations, or assess site fidelity and movement between distinct phases of the annual cycle. Far fewer studies have investigated individual movement patterns within and among seasons over an annual cycle. Within western Oregon's Willamette Valley throughout 2007, we quantified intra- and interseasonal movement patterns, fidelity (regional and local), and migratory patterns of 37 radiomarked Wilson's Snipe (Gallinago delicata) to elucidate residency in a region of breeding- and wintering-range overlap. Telemetry revealed complex regional population structure, including winter residents (74%), winter transients (14%), summer residents (9%), and one year-round resident breeder (3%). Results indicated a lack of connectivity between winter and summer capture populations, some evidence of partial migration, and between-season fidelity to the region (winter-resident return; subsequent fall). Across seasons, the extent of movements and use of multiple wetland sites suggested that Wilson's Snipe were capable of exploratory movements but more regularly perceived local and fine-scale segments of the landscape as connected. Movements differed significantly by season and residency; individuals exhibited contracted movements during late winter and more expansive movements during precipitation-limited periods (late spring, summer, fall). Mean home-range size was 3.5 ± 0.93 km2 (100% minimum convex polygon [MCP]) and 1.6 ± 0.42 km2 (95% fixed kernel) and did not vary by sex; however, home range varied markedly by season (range of 100% MCPs: 1.04–7.56 km2). The results highlight the need to consider seasonal and interspecific differences in shorebird life histories and space-use requirements when developing regional wetland conservation plans.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Seasonal movement, residency, and migratory patterns of Wilson's Snipe (Gallinago delicata)
Series title The Auk
DOI 10.1525/auk.2011.10217
Volume 128
Issue 3
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher American Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s) Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description 13 p.
First page 543
Last page 555
Country United States
State Oregon
Other Geospatial Willamette Valley
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