, Volume 51, Issue 6, pp 459-463
Date: 31 Jan 2007

Is earlier spring migration of Tatarstan warblers expected under climate warming?

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We analysed data on the arrival dates of four species of leaf warbler (genus Phylloscopus) collected in Tatarstan between 1957 and 2004. There was no evidence over the whole period that the warblers returned to their breeding sites significantly earlier, mainly because local temperatures for April and May, months when the majority of birds arrived from their wintering grounds, did not increase significantly. However, arrival dates of two species (Chiffchaff P. collybita and Willow warbler P.trochilus) were strongly related to local temperature in April, and that of Greenish warbler P. trochiloides to that in May. As expected, arrival dates for the three species wintering in Africa (Chiffchaff, Willow and Wood warblers P. sibilatrix) correlated positively with one another (P < 0.01 in all cases), but were not correlated with arrival dates of Greenish warbler (P > 0.5 in all cases), a species wintering in the Indian sub-continent.