The effective conservation of long-distance migratory birds requires the identification and protection of the birds, nesting habitat as well as their stop-over and wintering habitats. This project provides the first implementation of archival light-level geolocator data logger technology by a Puerto Rican institution to study the migratory connectivity of Neotropical migratory birds in Puerto Rico and compliments existing information derived from banding returns and stable isotope analyses to determine the geographic origins in North America of birds that occur in Puerto Rico during the non-breeding seasons. We applied this technology to help establish the specific intercontinental migratory connectivity of the 15-20 g Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis), a species breeds in North America and passes the winter in the Caribbean, Central and South America. We deployed 40 data loggers on Northern Waterthrushes at Jobos Bay in Salinas, Puerto Rico in coastal dry forest habitat from September 2015 through April 2016, as birds wintered in Puerto Rico and/or prepared for their return to nesting grounds in North America. This report provides a preliminary analysis of the results obtained from the data loggers recovered from birds that returned to Puerto Rico from September 2016 through April 2017. Of these, 11 (28%) were recovered from September 2016 to April 2017 – a success rate that compares favorably with previous studies elsewhere. preliminary analyses of downloaded geolocator data, suggest that our visiting Northern Waterthrushes nest predominantly in the area from Massachusetts and New Hampshire to southern Quebec and New Brunswick.
Program Report: Migratory and Interhabitat Connectivity of North American Wintering Songbirds on the South Coast of Puerto Rico: Application of Geolocator Technology
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