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Roosting behaviour of Marsh and Montagu's Harriers during migration

van Gasteren, Anneriek (2018) Roosting behaviour of Marsh and Montagu's Harriers during migration. Master's Thesis / Essay, Ecology and Evolution.

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Abstract

Much of our general knowledge about the ecology of migratory birds is based on visual observations during the breeding and wintering season, when migratory birds are stationary and thus easier to study. That birds can behave very differently during migration is exemplified in this study where we looked at the habitat choice of roosting Marsh and Montagu´s Harriers (Circus aeruginosus and C. pygargus) during migration, using GPS-based tracking devices. Almost twenty-five percent of the night roosts in Europe were in coniferous and broadleaf forest, which was unexpected as Harriers roam very open landscapes during both breeding and wintering, where they breed and roost on the ground. For both Marsh and Montagu’s Harriers this phenomenon is found in several years and differ between the autumn and spring migration. Montagu’s Harriers tend to rest in trees more often than Marsh Harriers although this phenomenon seems to be influenced by the absence and presence of crops on agricultural fields or other Harriers in the area for both species. Our findings stress the importance of detailed tracking studies in the research of migrating birds and indicate that our knowledge about the general ecology of migrants is still limited. To get a more detailed view of the roosting locations citizen science could be used to get a better overview of the habitat type at different locations through Europe.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Supervisor:
Supervisor nameSupervisor E mail
Klaassen, R.H.G.Raymond.Klaassen@rug.nl
Both, C.C.Both@rug.nl
Degree programme: Ecology and Evolution
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2018
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2018 13:51
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/17323

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