Bar-tailed Godwits Limosa lapponica on south Swedish shores in spring—emergency stopovers or a regular occurrence?
Keywords:staging sites, stopover sites, migration, population studies, fat storage, climate effects, sexual dimorphism
The occurrence of spring staging Bar-tailed Godwits Limosa lapponica in two bays in Öresund, southwestern Sweden, was monitored in 1996—1998. Godwits were present in the area from early April to early June with a peak in the first half of May, when several hundred birds were present at one time. The timing of the occurrence indicates that the birds belong to the ”European population”. Total number of birds involved per season could maximally be a few thousand, constituting 1–3% of the total population in northern Europe. Numbers of birds present was not significantly correlated to weather variables as wind, cloud cover or precipitation. The birds foraged intensively but no large scale accumulation of fuel stores was observed (i.e. by the use of abdominal profile scores), indicating a relatively rapid turnover of individuals in the area. More females than males were observed which indicate differences in migration strategies between the sexes. It is concluded that the two bays are a regular, but small-scale, stopover area for Bar-tailed Godwits during spring migration.
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