Abstract and Summary
Variability characterizes the orientation of migratory birds much as it does other aspects of their behavior. Yet, in most orientation experiments measures of central tendency are emphasized, while existing individual variability is seldom addressed other than to make special statistical effort to reduce it. Massing individuals is only useful, however, if there are insignificant differences among them. When the behavior of individual migrants was monitored over several nights and then compared, individual directional preferences were evident. Among-individual variability in compass orientation was greater than within-individual variability. The statistical variation that exists around a group mean seems to be a function of differences among individuals showing rather specific preferences. Because the samples may have consisted of individuals representing different breeding localities, the observed differences among individuals may reflect different migratory goals.