Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Do all Blackcaps Sylvia atricapilla show winter site fidelity?

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1995
Authors:Cuadrado, M, SENAR, JUANCARLOS, Copete, JLuis
Date Published:1995
ISBN Number:1474-919X
Keywords:Spain, Sylvia, Sylvia atricapilla, Sylviidae
Abstract:Fidelity to previous wintering areas (i.e. site fidelity) has important ecological and evolutionary implications. However, since the percentage of recaptures of ringed birds at the same wintering area in subsequent years does not allow the estimation of the proportion of birds alive that exhibit site fidelity, previous studies on different passerine species have failed to show the true extent of this site fidelity. Here we use a recent approach, based on the comparison of survival rate estimates from capture-recapture data at single field stations with recovery data from a much larger area. The idea is to determine the proportion of birds still alive that return to the area. The study was carried out on the Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla, comparing the capture-recapture data of two field stations (Pilas [SW] and Tiana [NE]) situated 1000 km apart in Spain with the complete winter recovery data of the Spanish Ringing Office. Totals of 1936 and 3976 Blackcaps were ringed at Pilas (1981–1986) and Tiana (1975–1986), respectively, and the numbers of recaptures in subsequent winters were 94 and 34. The pooled annual survival rate estimation based on the two sites is 0.40 (s.e. = 0.05). The annual survival rate estimated from the Spanish ringing recovery data was 0.48 (s.e. = 0.08), which is not significantly different. We can conclude, therefore, that migrant Blackcaps in Spain, if alive, tend to return year after year to the previous wintering site.
Short Title:Ibis
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith