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Stopover departure decisions in autumn are not associated with constitutive immune function in Northern Wheatears Oenanthe oenanthe

  • Cas Eikenaar
  • Florian Packmor
  • Heiko Schmaljohann
  • Arne Hegemann
Publishing year: 2019-04-13
Language: English
Pages: 813-817
Publication/Series: Journal of Ornithology
Volume: 160
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

Stopover periods in between migratory flights determine the speed of migration and as such may affect birds’ fitness. The decision to leave a stopover site is affected by, for example, energy stores and weather conditions. We investigated whether immunological state influences autumn stopover departure decisions in Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe), a nocturnal long-distance migrant. We measured three parameters of constitutive immune function: microbial killing capacity, haptoglobin, and total immunoglobulins. None of them explained variation in departure probability, minimum stopover duration, or departure time within the night. Thus, we did not find an effect of the birds’ immunological state on stopover departure decisions.


  • Zoology
  • Departure cues
  • Fitness
  • Immunity
  • Migration
  • Stopover
  • Telemetry


  • ISSN: 2193-7192