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Passerine migration strategies and body mass variation along geographic sectors across East Africa, the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula
- Yohannes, Elizabeth, Biebach, Herbert, Nikolaus, Gerhard, Pearson, David J.
- Journal für Ornithologie 2009 v.150 no.2 pp. 369-381
- Palaearctic region, Passeriformes, birds, energy metabolism, migratory behavior, Eastern Africa, Europe, Middle East
- Using the body mass estimates of 12 long-distance migrating Palearctic passerine species monitored at successive sites across the Eastern Africa flyway, we tested whether birds modulate their body mass according to specific seasonal demands across different geographic sectors. We compared body mass estimates across latitudinal distances and geographic sectors in Europe, the desert, Northeast Africa and East Africa. Our results show that, depending on the species and season considered, the average body mass increase or decrease is variable at and among different geographic sectors. By comparing the variation in body mass between different ecological sectors, we were able to show when and where migrants accumulate their migratory fuel reserves during migration.