Ornis Fennica 2024-02-20T09:29:39+02:00 Patrik Karell Open Journal Systems <p>Ornis Fennica is a peer-reviewed international ornithological journal published by BirdLife Finland.</p> Productivity of the Great Egret (Ardea alba) and Grey Heron (A. cinerea) in mixed heronries in Poland and behavioral response of fledglings to a drone 2023-10-13T20:21:04+03:00 Adam Zbyryt Cezary Mitrus Grzegorz Neubauer <p>Productivity of avian populations provides important demographic information helpful in understanding population dynamics and processes involved during species expansions. We tested the hypothesis that the productivity of the two species of ecologically similar herons that breed together in mixed heronries is related to their expansion status. We expected the expansive species, colonizing the new area and increasing in numbers, to outperform the native species, whose abundance is stable. We studied the breeding success of two herons in mixed colonies in eastern Poland in 2018: Great Egret (Ardea alba) (an expansive species, increasing breeding range and population size), and the Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) (a native species, stable breeding population). Mean productivity (number of young per nest) was similar for Great Egret and Grey Heron and appeared correlated to each other in mixed heronries. Productivity of both species was unrelated to the colony size, but Grey Heron tended to have higher productivity as the proportion of Great Egret nests in the colony increased. Similar productivity of both species can be explained by the sufficient food resources coupled with the low level of competition. The two species differed significantly in their response of young to the approaching drone: the mean probability of a young Great Egret adopting an upright display was 0.47 compared to only 0.18 in a young Grey Heron (P=0.025). This was unlikely an age-related difference as the fledglings of both species were at a similar stage of development, but may represent some kind of a species-specific trait. Our research once again shows that UAVs allow a quick and non-invasive study of the size of the breeding populations and reproductive performance of herons, egrets and other wading birds.</p> 2024-02-20T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Adam Zbyryt, Cezary Mitrus, Grzegorz Neubauer Consistent delay in recent timing of passerine autumn migration 2023-08-23T19:04:32+03:00 Adam Sahl Søderdahl Anders P. Tøttrup <p>Climate change affects important biological processes, bird migration phenology being a particular well-documented one. While spring migration have been found to advance by numerous studies, autumn migration is less studied and show more variable change in timing. Few studies of autumn migration are based on data from after 2000, leaving the last two decades to be relatively less studied. Here, we investigate recent change in autumn migration phenology of European passerines. The most recent available bird ringing data from Denmark is used to analyse phenological change of median and late migration of 14 passerine migrants between 2003–2021. We find an overall delay of autumn migration, mainly driven by short-distance migrants. All short-distance migrants, one out of five medium-distance and three out of five long-distance migrants delay autumn migration. None of the included species advance autumn migration significantly. As climate change has continuously resulted in milder conditions in north-western Europe, we expect this to cause further effects on migration phenology also in recent decades. Our results provide novel insight into recent migration phenology trends, and the observed delay in long-distance migrants may illustrate a changed response to climate change.</p> 2024-02-20T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Adam Søderdahl, Anders P. Tøttrup Conspecific density drives sex-specific spatial wintertime distribution and hoarding behaviour of an avian predator 2023-10-17T18:00:11+03:00 Elina Koivisto Giulia Masoero Chiara Morosinotto Eric Le Tortorec Erkki Korpimäki <p>Most studies on intraspecific competition, i.e., competition among individuals of the same species, have been conducted during the breeding season. Yet, at northern latitudes, intraspecific competition is expected to be particularly strong under the harsh weather conditions of the non-breeding season with limited number of resources available per individual. We studied the food-hoarding behaviour of wintering Eurasian Pygmy Owls (<em>Glaucidium passerinum</em>) along with sex- and age-specific spatial distribution in relation to fluctuating main prey abundance (voles) and conspecific density using a 15-year dataset. In low vole abundance years, increasing conspecific density reduced the total prey number stored by an owl, suggesting high costs of exploitative competition. The distance between the stores of nearest neighbours was greater when both were females, suggesting that the spatial avoidance is driven by sex-specific competition. However, food stores of females had a larger amount of prey items, especially when the nearest neighbour was of the same sex. The number of stores hoarded by an owl increased with increasing conspecific densities. Distributing the prey items to multiple store-sites instead of one (shifting from larder-hoarding towards scatter-hoarding) can help to reduce the overall loss to potential pilfering when conspecific density is high. These results combined suggest that high conspecific density inflames sex-specific interference competition, rather than solely exploitative competition, and in turn drives the observed sex-specific spatial distribution. Adopting a sex-specific spatial distribution according to hoarding and aggressive behaviour can be a way to reduce the severity of intraspecific competition locally and could have cascading effects on the prey community.</p> 2024-02-20T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Elina Koivisto, Giulia Masoero, Chiara Morosinotto, Eric Le Tortorec, Erkki Korpimäki