Dr. Charles van Riper III

Professor, School of Natural Resources and the Environment
USGS Research Scientist Emeritus  

Sonoran Desert Research Station
125 Biological Sciences East ~ University of Arizona ~Tucson, AZ 85721-125
(520) 626-7027 ~ (520) 670-5100 fax ~ (520) 491-0721 call

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When spring migration peaks there can literally be hundreds of thousands of passerines on the move from their wintering grounds in Latin America to their breeding grounds up north. With so many beaks to feed competition for food can play an important role in where individuals choose to stop during migration. The presence of other migrants and/or resident species may simultaneously indicate a quality place to stop to refuel and a place to be avoided because of increased competition. Despite the importance of understanding the conditions that favor migrant stopover, little is know about how competition shapes where individual birds choose to stop and feed. By assessing densities of migrant and resident species and following individuals as they feed we hope to better understand how stopover decisions are shaped by competition.



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