Local fruit availability and en route wind conditions are poor predictors of bird abundance and composition during fall migration in coastal Yucatán Peninsula

The Wilson Journal of Ornithology
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Abstract

In migratory stopover habitats, bird abundance and composition change on a near daily basis. On any given day, the local bird community should reflect local environmental conditions but also the environments that birds encountered previously along their migratory route. For example, during fall migration, the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico receives birds that have just crossed the Gulf of Mexico and their abundance and composition may be associated with regional factors such as wind conditions experienced on previous dates. Other factors, such as local fruit availability, may also influence daily variation in bird abundance and composition. Using mist net data from 2 coastal national parks in the Yucatán Peninsula during fall migration in 2016 and 2017, we did not find a strong association between daily changes in bird abundance or community composition with wind conditions and ripe fruit availability. Thus, despite wind and fruit being known to be important to individual birds (influencing stopover duration and departure decisions), their effects might not scale up to be drivers of population and community level variation. On the other hand, we found that the 2 sites shared only about half of their species and those shared species had different temporal abundance patterns at each site. Site and year differences in temporal patterns of migration might arise because populations of the same species are on different migration routes and schedules. While bird arrival is not timed to hit peaks in fruit production in our study sites, whether bird–resource mismatch is a general characteristic of tropical coastal stopover habitats requires further research. If birds on migration have adapted to seasonal variation in food availability, they might be equipped to deal with the additional variability in food supply that is expected to occur with climate change.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Local fruit availability and en route wind conditions are poor predictors of bird abundance and composition during fall migration in coastal Yucatán Peninsula
Series title The Wilson Journal of Ornithology
DOI 10.1676/19-00131
Edition Online First
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher Wilson Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s) Eastern Ecological Science Center
Country Mexico
Other Geospatial Yucatan Peninsula
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