Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 147, Issue 2, pp 167–184

Ecology of spring-migrating Anatidae: a review


DOI: 10.1007/s10336-006-0054-8

Cite this article as:
Arzel, C., Elmberg, J. & Guillemain, M. J Ornithol (2006) 147: 167. doi:10.1007/s10336-006-0054-8


Spring migration is generally considered as a crucial period of the year for many birds, not the least due to its supposed importance for subsequent breeding success. By reviewing the existing literature for Anatidae (ducks, geese, and swans), we show that little is known about their ecology in spring, although some goose species are exceptions. Another general pattern is that the ecology of Anatidae at staging sites is particularly neglected. Existing studies tend to focus on questions dealing with acquisition of nutrient reserves, whereas almost nothing has been published about stopover habitats, time use, microhabitat use, foraging behaviour, food availability, food limitation, diet selection, and interspecific relationships. Besides summarising present knowledge, we identify taxonomic groups and topics for which gaps of knowledge appear the most evident, thereby also highlighting research needs for the future.


AnatidaeDucksReviewSpring migrationStaging

Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNERA Avifaune MigratriceOffice National de la Chasse et de la Faune SauvageArlesFrance
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and Natural SciencesKristianstad UniversityKristianstadSweden
  3. 3.Laboratoire d’Ecologie des HydrosystèmesUniversité Paul SabatierToulouseFrance