Stopover dynamics of fall migrant Pectoral Sandpipers in Iowa


186 – 192

28 February 15

Kevin T. Murphy, Stephen J. Dinsmore

Kevin T. Murphy
124 Terrace Dr., Waterloo, IA 50702, USA


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Many species of shorebirds (order Charadriiformes) undergo bi-annual long-distance migrations between temperate and tropical wintering areas to extreme northern latitudes for breeding purposes. We examined stopover dynamics of Pectoral Sandpipers Calidris melanotos at a stopover site in Iowa during fall 2012. We radio-marked and tracked 52 individuals to determine their departure date. We also modeled daily probability of local survival within the stopover site with the nest survival model in program MARK and utilized daily local survival to estimate minimum stopover durations. The most competitive model included both a negative linear day-of-season effect and negative effect of body condition index on daily survival rates, with mean minimum stopover duration calculations of 7.4 days (95% confidence interval 4.3 to 13.6 days). Our work provides important baseline information on stopover site use by a common migrant shorebird in mid-continental North America and further documents the benefits of water level management to waterbirds.