As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Full-annual-cycle models track migratory bird populations throughout the year


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.

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