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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The Costs

Clearly migration has huge energetic costs, and recent studies have shown that variation in individual and habitat quality can potentially compound these costs. We hope to add to these studies by understanding how habitat selection decisions across habitats that vary in food availability, competition, and predation risk not only influence an individuals ability to refuel, but how behavioral expression in these different habitats may either limit or add to the costs of choosing poor habitats. By examining rates of refueling and stress levels of birds in different habitats we can assess how habitat quality influences individual quality. By coupling these studies with behavioral observations we can begin to determine if birds can overcome these costs by altering their behaviors, or if poor stopover site selection is further compounded by poor behavioral expression


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