© Marcel Burkhardt
Korner-Nievergelt, F., L. Jenni, A. P. Tøttrup & G. Pasinelli (2012)
Departure directions, migratory timing and nonbreeding distribution of the Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio: do ring re-encounters and light-based geolocator data tell the same story?
Ringing & Migration 27: 83–93
This study explores differences and consistencies between ring re-encounter and light-based geolocator data from Red-backed Shrike when used for studying three aspects of bird migration: departure direction and its relationship with longitude and latitude, non-breeding distribution, and timing of migration. Departure directions were consistent between the two methods. They indicate a funnel-shaped migration with individuals from southwest Europe taking a detour via the eastern Mediterranean rather than migrating via Gibraltar. This indicates that an original migration route has been retained after colonisation of the breeding range. Non-breeding distributions differed substantially between birds ringed and re-encountered and birds tracked by geolocators. This difference may be due to spatiotemporal heterogeneity in ring re-encounter probability and/or due to the two samples of birds belonging to different populations. The monthly average ring re-encounter location moved later southward during autumn and earlier northward during spring migration than the geolocator positions, because of an over-representation of re-encounters in the north. The results emphasise the importance of combining different sources of data when analysing migration patterns of animals that are difficult to track.