Using the long-tailed tit (Aegithalos c. caudatus) as an example of the so-called irruptive species, the ecophysiological characteristics (body mass, fat reserves) and migration speed during autumn period were analyzed. The mean body mass and the median fat score did not depend on the number of migrating individuals. There was no evidence of the so-called stress in birds, participating in migration: migrants had even higher fat reserves than residents, while no significant difference in the body mass was recorded. The increase in fat reserves in the long-tailed tit during migration period was similar to the seasonal changes in energy reserves known for typical migrants. This makes it possible for late-migrating individuals to maintain higher total speed of migration compared to early-migrating ones. Basing on the obtained data, we conclude that the ecophysiological characteristics of the long-tailed tits migrating in autumn are similar to those of regular migrants.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 25, 2010
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