CENTRAL ORNITHOLOGY PUBLICATION OFFICE
Ignoring the wintering ranges of migratory birds when studying their populations is like doing a puzzle with half of the pieces missing. In a new Review published this week in The Auk: Ornithological Advances, Jeffrey Hostetler and his colleagues show how statistical analysis can fill in those missing pieces.
Many birds spend only a few months of the year in their breeding range before leaving to spend the winter in another region or even on another continent, and models that only make use of data from one season may not paint a complete picture; climate change, in particular, is likely to affect breeding, migratory, and winter ranges in different ways. For this reason, Jeffrey Hostetler, T. Scott Sillett, and Peter P. Marra of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center have written the first comprehensive review of the different types of full-annual-cycle modeling approaches available to ecologists, including suggestions for potential improvements and the best model types for different situations. This Review highlights the importance of incorporating data from all parts of migratory birds' annual movements when developing demographic models to study changes in their populations.