Phenological synchrony of bird migration with tree flowering at desert riparian stopover sites

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Abstract

Small-bodied songbirds replenish fat reserves during migration at stopover sites where they continually encounter novel and often unpredictable environmental conditions. The ability to select and utilize high quality habitats is critical to survival and fitness. Vegetation phenology is closely linked with emergence of insect prey and may provide valid cues of food availability for stopover habitat selection. Climate change is disrupting phenological synchrony across trophic levels with negative impacts on bird populations. However, whether synchrony or mismatch indicates historic or disrupted systems remains unclear. Many Neotropical migratory songbirds of western North America must cross arid regions where drought conditions related to climate change and human water use are expected to increase. We studied migrant abundance and the diversity (niche breadth) and proportional use of vegetation species as foraging substrates and their synchrony with vegetation flowering during spring migration along the lower Colorado River in the Sonoran Desert of the U.S. and Mexico.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Phenological synchrony of bird migration with tree flowering at desert riparian stopover sites
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher CRC Press Taylor Francis Group
Contributing office(s) Southwest Biological Science Center
Description 12 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Title Studies in Avian Biology book series
First page 133
Last page 144
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N