Summary & Purpose
In migratory birds, among- and within-species heterogeneity in response to climate change may be attributed to differences in migration distance and, consequently, environmental cues that affect timing of arrival at breeding grounds. We used eBird observations and a within-species comparative approach to examine whether migration distance (with latitude as a proxy) and climate explain spring arrival dates in a raptor species with a widespread distribution and diverse migration strategies, the American Kestrel Falco sparverius. We found an interactive effect between latitude and spring minimum temperatures on arrival dates, where at lower latitudes (short-distance migrants) kestrels arrived earlier in warmer springs and later in colder springs, but kestrels at higher latitudes (long-distance migrants) showed no association between arrival timing and spring temperatures. Increased snow water equivalent delayed arrival at all latitudes. Results support the hypothesis that short-distance migrants are better able to respond to conditions on the breeding ground than long-distance migrants, suggesting that long-distance migrants may be more vulnerable to shifts in spring conditions that could lead to phenological mismatch.
Date of Publication or Submission
This work was supported in-part by the Department of Biological Sciences and Raptor Research Center at Boise State University, the NSF Idaho EPSCoR Program under award number OIA‐1757324, and the Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (RC 2702).
Data Source Credits
eBird. 2017. eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. eBird, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Available: http://www.ebird.org. (Accessed: Date, October 11, 2019]).
Thornton, P.E., Thornton, M.M., Mayer, B.W., Wei, Y., Devarakonda, R., Vose, R.S, &. Cook, R.B. 2019. Daymet: Daily Surface Weather Data on a 1-km Grid for North America. Version3. ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA.
Gorelick, N., Hancher, M., Dixon, M., Ilyushchenko, S., Thau, D., & Moore, R. 2017. Google Earth Engine: Planetary-scale geospatial analysis for everyone. Remote Sensing of Environment 202:18-27.
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Powers, Breanna F.; Winiarski, Jason M.; Requena-Mullor, Juan M.; and Heath, Julie A.. (2020). Dataset for Estimating eBird Arrival Dates and Temperature Anomalies for American Kestrels [Data set]. Retrieved from 10.18122/bio_data/5/boisestate