Ecological conditions during winter predict arrival date at the breeding quarters in a trans-Saharan migratory bird

Nicola Saino, T. Szép, Maria Romano, Diego Rubolini, Fernando Spina, Anders Pape Møller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

192 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We studied variation in arrival date to the breeding colonies in Italy of a trans-Saharan migratory bird, the barn swallow Hirundo rustica, in relation to variation in ecological conditions, as reflected by the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), in the winter quarters. Arrival date of old but not young individuals captured during consecutive breeding seasons was earlier after winters with favourable conditions. Change in arrival date in relation to change in NDVI was similar in the two sexes. Change in arrival date significantly and positively predicted change in breeding date. As a result of increased frequency of second broods determined by earlier arrival, the number of fledged offspring per season was larger after African winters with good in comparison to poor ecological conditions for barn swallows. This is the first study demonstrating phenotypic plasticity in migration phenology of a long-distance migratory bird in relation to ecological conditions during wintering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-25
Number of pages5
JournalEcology Letters
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004

Fingerprint

arrival date
Hirundo rustica
breeding
winter
breeding season
NDVI
phenotypic plasticity
phenology
breeding population
Italy
gender
migratory bird
migratory birds
normalized difference vegetation index

Keywords

  • Arrival date
  • Barn swallow
  • Bird migration
  • Breeding date
  • Breeding success
  • Hirundo rustica
  • Long-distance migration
  • Normalized difference vegetation index
  • Population dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Ecological conditions during winter predict arrival date at the breeding quarters in a trans-Saharan migratory bird. / Saino, Nicola; Szép, T.; Romano, Maria; Rubolini, Diego; Spina, Fernando; Møller, Anders Pape.

In: Ecology Letters, Vol. 7, No. 1, 01.2004, p. 21-25.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Saino, Nicola ; Szép, T. ; Romano, Maria ; Rubolini, Diego ; Spina, Fernando ; Møller, Anders Pape. / Ecological conditions during winter predict arrival date at the breeding quarters in a trans-Saharan migratory bird. In: Ecology Letters. 2004 ; Vol. 7, No. 1. pp. 21-25.
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