The July issue of IBIS is now online and contains a review, 13 full papers and three short communications.
Migratory connectivity of Palaearctic–African migratory birds and their responses to environmental change: the serial residency hypothesis
Following on from the theme of the major review on Afro-Palearctic migrants published in the January issue of Ibis, Will Cresswell here reviews the movement and decision strategies of individual migrant birds and uses these to develop a novel ‘serial occupancy’ hypothesis. This suggests that naive young birds on their first migration settle almost at random on their staging or wintering sites, and that those that survive, likely to be those settling fortuitously in better sites, are almost ‘hard wired’ to return to these same sites in subsequent winters, rather than seeking out new sites each year. As Cresswell explains, this could fundamentally alter our understanding of the impacts of habitat change at the population level.
Other highlights in the July issue include:
Galapagos ground finches balance investment in behavioural and immunological pathogen defences
The first quantitative assessment of the extent to which a bird balances two responses to risk of parasite infection – behavioural and immunological. Working on wild Galapagos finches, Maxine Zylberberg provides the first empirical evidence in support of the predator defence optimisation hypothesis, showing that birds that engage in behaviour that places them at greater risk of pathogen transmission, such as visiting crowded feeders, invest more in immunological defences than do birds that avoid high risk situations.
Synergies between site protection and agri-environment schemes for the conservation of waders on lowland wet grasslands
Jennifer Smart, Simon R. Wotton, Ian A. Dillon, Andrew I. Cooke, Iain Diack, Allan L. Drewitt, Philip V. Grice and Richard D. Gregory
An assessment of the performance of two alternative approaches to the conservation of waders breeding on lowland wet grasslands. Jen Smart and colleagues show that site protection and agri-environment schemes (AES) work synergistically, and that birds did far better on land that is both protected and under AES management than on land that is only under one management option.
Hatching order affects offspring growth, survival and adult dominance in the joint-laying Pukeko Porphyrio melanotus melanotus
Cody J. Dey, Constance O'connor and James S. Quinn
A rare, perhaps unique, assessment of the lifetime influence of hatching order. Working on the cooperatively breeding Pukeko in New Zealand, Cody Dey and colleagues found that not only did hatching order influence chick body condition and survival, but that these effects extended even into adulthood, with earlier hatched chicks going on to become more socially dominant adults. Furthermore, in groups with two breeding females, the chicks of the primary female hatch earlier than those of the secondary female, giving the former a competitive advantage throughout their lives.
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# Woodland birds response to climate change - part 1
The RSPB is investigating the impacts of climate change on the breeding success of woodland birds
# Woodland birds response to climate change - part 2
Measuring insect poo to help investigate the impacts of climate change on woodland birds
# Ash dieback - how much should we worry?
It was big news in 2012 and warning notices appeared across the country. But should we still be concerned about ash dieback?
# Beyond the maps
What now for all that data collected from the #birdatlas?
# Yellowhammer dialects and history
Yellowhammer dialects from the introduced population in New Zealand has raised some new questions.
# The Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo species complex
Genetic structure offers insights in to the evolution of migration and taxonomy.
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The AFON University Birdwatching Challenge
This is a new initiative from A Focus on Nature to provide university students with the chance to participate in a fun, competitive, outdoor activity, helping them to improve their birding, bird identification and data handling skills, which can be useful in a variety of university modules, courses and careers.
Teams will represent their university, with all records being input on the BTO’s online BirdTrack recording system. Teams can be made up of groups of individuals, students on particular courses or modules, seminar groups or societies. Only one team per university may enter, but there is no limit to how many people can participate per university team.
For more information, including the pilot challenge run at the University of Nottingham in 2013, see here.
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Image credits: Middle column: Malachite Sunbird (Nectarinia famosa) nectaring on Leonotis flower
© Steve Garvie via Wikicommons