Songbird migration phenotypes
Magnetic fields and individs
In this project we investigate the characteristics of the endogenous migration program and individual expression of migration phenotypes for different bird species, and perform controlled experiments in which we manipulate the different types of information birds have access to for compass orientation and navigation. The experiments are performed in non-magnetic houses (ORILab), where we have electromagnetic (Merritt) coils installed to control the magnetic field around the circular cages where we study migration behavior and fueling of individual birds. In particular we are interested to study interactions between the external geomagnetic field and expression of different components of the endogenous migration program, i.e. fueling, migratory restlessness, and orientation.
We also study the route choice, stopover area use and different timing of migration in individual birds tracked during natural migrations, and compare migration behavior between species and populations.