Between cohort variation in dispersal distance in the European Kestrel Falco tinnunculus as shown by ringing recoveries

Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) Science Article 8


Ringing recoveries of European Kestrels from north-western Europe have shown that a very low proportion of this population is migratory, and that even large-distance movements can be attributed mainly to dispersal movements of young birds. Several studies have shown the importance of food availability on dispersal rates in raptors, including the European Kestrel. Based on recovery data, we show here that dispersal rate, as well as dispersal distance, of nestling Belgian kestrels varied strongly between cohorts born in different years. Both were negatively correlated with measures of the quality of the year in terms of food, as indicated by the number of fledglings per nest and the energy content of the natural seed crop (acorns plus beechnuts) in deciduous woodland in the preceding winter. In good years dispersal activity was lower than in bad years. Dispersal activity also showed a negative trend over the whole study period (1967-1989)

Adriaensen F., Verwimp N. & Dhondt A.A., ARDEA 86 (2): 147-152

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