What determines whether some birds migrate and others do not? This question is fundamental to understanding how migratory systems change over time but the causes of individual migratory behaviours have proved difficult to isolate.
Verónica Méndez and colleagues are studying Icelandic Oystercatchers, some of which remain in Iceland for the winter but most of which migrate across the Atlantic to Ireland, Britain and mainland Europe. In a 2021 paper in Scientific Reportsthey show that a chick’s migratory behaviour seems to align with the behaviour of its father but not its mother. What can explain this pattern?
The story so far
The Icelandic Oystercatcher study system has already featured in three WaderTales blogs. The first was Migratory decisions for Icelandic Oystercatchers. This focused upon the key questions that Verónica Méndez and colleagues from the universities of Iceland, East Anglia (UK) and Aveiro (Portugal) are trying to answer.
- Why do…
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