Migratory birds use both geomagnetic and celestial cues to select and maintain their seasonally appropriate migratory direction. The integration of the different compass cues is still poorly understood. Previous cue-conflict experiments suggested that Pied Flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca did not recalibrate their magnetic compass against the polarization pattern at twilight, but the available evidence is problematic given the high variability of birds’ directional preferences. We performed a new set of cue-conflict experiments where (1) we modified the protocol in order to try to reduce scatter of data and (2) we integrated the results of two experimental approaches, i.e. orientation cages and releases of radio-tagged birds. Pied Flycatchers were tested in Emlen funnels without access to celestial cues before and after being exposed to conflicting visual and geomagnetic information. After the second test, birds were equipped with radio-transmitters and followed until the vanishing of the radio signal. Contrary to previous experiments, our data showed a general dominance of celestial cues: polarized light sun-related pattern in captive birds tested without access to stars and stellar dominance in free-flying birds released under a starry sky at night-time. These results underline the importance of experimental protocols when testing ways in which birds integrate their compass systems.
|Autori:||Giunchi, Dimitri ; Vanni, Lorenzo ; Baldaccini, N. Emilio ; Spina, Fernando; Biondi, Francesca|
|Titolo:||New cue-conflict experiments suggest a leading role of visual cues in the migratory orientation of Pied Flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca|
|Anno del prodotto:||2015|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1007/s10336-014-1107-z|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|