Paternal effects in the initiation of migratory behaviour in birds

Veronica Mendez Aragon, Jennifer Gill, Böðvar Þórisson, Solvi Runar Vignisson, Tómas Grétar Gunnarsson, Jose Alves

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What determines why some birds migrate and others do not? This question is fundamental to understanding how migratory systems are responding to environmental changes, but the causes of individual migratory behaviours have proven difficult to isolate. We show that, in a partially migratory population of Eurasian Oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus), the migratory behaviour of progeny follows paternal but not maternal behaviour, and is unrelated to timing of hatching or fledging. These findings highlight the key role of social interactions in shaping the migratory behaviour of new generations, and thus the spatio-temporal distribution of migratory populations
Original languageEnglish
Article number2782
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2021

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