Migratory restlessness in an equatorial nonmigratory bird

Helm, B. and Gwinner, E. (2006) Migratory restlessness in an equatorial nonmigratory bird. PLoS Biology, 4(4), e110. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0040110)

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The urge of captive birds to migrate manifests itself in seasonally occurring restlessness, termed "Zugunruhe." Key insights into migration and an endogenous basis of behavior are based on Zugunruhe of migrants but have scarcely been tested in nonmigratory birds. We recorded Zugunruhe of African stonechats, small passerine birds that defend year-round territories and have diverged from northern migrants at least 1 million years ago. We demonstrate that Zugunruhe is a regular feature of their endogenous program, one that is precisely timed by photoperiod. These results extend ideas of programs for periodic movement to include nonmigratory birds. Such programs could be activated when movements become necessary, in line with observed fast changes and high flexibility of migration. Attention to Zugunruhe of resident birds promises new insights into diverse and dynamic migration systems and enhances predictions of avian responses to global change.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Helm, Dr Barbara
Authors: Helm, B., and Gwinner, E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:PLoS Biology
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1545-7885
Published Online:04 April 2006
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2006 The Authors
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 4(4):e110
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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