Impacts of passage migrant songbirds on behaviour and habitat use of resident Sardinian Warblers Sylvia melanocephala in Gibraltar

Authors


Corresponding author.
Email: kbensusan@gibraltargardens.gi

Abstract

Explanations for the coexistence of migratory and sedentary (resident) birds are much debated: some authors have suggested that migrants make use of surplus resources not exploited by residents, whereas others have recorded ecological shifts in residents during periods when migrants are present. These shifts have been ascribed to the presence of migrants but could equally reflect seasonal variation in the distribution of resources required by sedentary species. Here we assess how the abundance of migrants affects the territorial behaviour and habitat use of resident Sardinian Warblers Sylvia melanocephala at a stop-over site on the Rock of Gibraltar. There was a significant positive relationship between the abundance of migrants and the distances moved, time spent calling and the species and functional diversity of plants used by Sardinian Warblers on a daily basis, suggesting that migrants have a significant impact on residents.

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