Variation in the Nomadic Tendency of a Wintering Finch Carduelis spinus and Its Relationship with Body Condition

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1992
Authors:Senar, JC, Burton, PJK, Metcalfe, NB
Journal:Ornis Scandinavica
Date Published:1992
ISBN Number:00305693
Keywords:Carduelis, Carduelis Spinus, Fringillidae, Spain, Spinus, Spinus spinus, United Kingdom
Abstract:Patterns of residence and site-fidelity were examined in the nomadic Siskin Carduelis spinus at 14 wintering sites in Britain and Spain where excess food was continually available. In spite of the stability of the food source, only 8% of birds captured at the study sites became "resident", being caught on over 70% of trapping days over several months. In contrast, the majority of birds were classified as "transients", staying for short periods and often being caught only once. Both residents and transients continued to arrive throughout the winter. Residents appeared to become sedentary as soon as they arrived. Transients were very mobile (making movements of 10-40 km in a single day), whereas residents made only short-range movements (usually less than 3 km). There were no sex, age, or size differences between residents and transients. An index of body condition (mass/wing length3) varied daily and seasonally, birds being heaviest in midwinter and in the afternoon. However, residents were consistently heavier than transients from the date of their initial capture onward. The evidence suggests that the observed variation in site fidelity fits the hypothesis of Gauthreaux which relates residence to dominance.
Short Title:Ornis Scandinavica
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith