Polar Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 11, pp 1621–1631 | Cite as

Site fidelity and home range variation during the breeding season of peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) in Yamal, Russia

  • Vasiliy Sokolov
  • Nicolas Lecomte
  • Aleksandr Sokolov
  • Md. Lutfor Rahman
  • Andrew Dixon
Original Paper


Many different ecological factors affecting the size, use, and spatial configuration of home ranges have been investigated, yet the chronology of the breeding cycle has been relatively under studied. Here, we studied peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) to describe variation in home range within and between breeding seasons in the Yamal peninsula, a region of the Russian Arctic with a high breeding density of peregrines. We used satellite telemetry to investigate variation in home range at different stages of the breeding cycle during three breeding seasons (2009–2011). We fitted Argos satellite transmitters to 10 breeding peregrines (nine females and one male) and two male fledglings. All breeding females showed fidelity to the region of the southwestern Yamal peninsula, but they were not necessarily faithful to their specific breeding ranges with 33 % dispersing to new ranges up to 40 km away. The population of peregrines in our study area was relatively synchronous in their breeding chronology, with clutches initiated in close synchrony in early June despite the birds arriving on their breeding ranges ca. 3 weeks earlier. The average home range size for breeding females was 98 km2 (95 % Maximum Convex Polygon). Over the breeding season, the home range area utilized by females increased in the late nestling period and again after the chicks fledged. Expansion of the home range coincided with changes in behavior associated with parental care, resulting in greater activity and more time spent away from the nest area when the female began hunting to provision nestlings and fledglings.


Arctic tundra Behavioral response Breeding cycle Breeding dispersal Satellite tracking 



This study was funded by the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi. We thank HE Mohammed Al Bowardi and HE Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak for their continued interest and support. Additional support was provided by Russian Academy of Sciences: Project # 12-P-4-1043 to VS and Project # 12-4-7-022-Arctic (Ural Branch) to AS, and by the Research Council of Norway, University of Tromsø: Project # 195738/V11 to VS. NL was funded by the Research Council of Norway through the IPY project “Arctic Predators” ( We thank Takuchi Laptander and family, Victor Sidorov, Natalya Sokolova, Dorothee Ehrich, Ivan Fufachev, Olga Kulikova, Slava Osokin and Grisha Popov. Three anonymous reviewers greatly improved an earlier version of this manuscript.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vasiliy Sokolov
    • 1
  • Nicolas Lecomte
    • 2
    • 3
  • Aleksandr Sokolov
    • 4
  • Md. Lutfor Rahman
    • 5
  • Andrew Dixon
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Plant and Animal EcologyUral Division Russian Academy of SciencesYekaterinburgRussia
  2. 2.Department of Arctic and Marine BiologyUniversity of TromsøTromsōNorway
  3. 3.Canada Research Chair in Polar and Boreal Ecology, Department of BiologyUniversity of MonctonMonctonCanada
  4. 4.Ecological Research Station of Institute of Plant and Animal EcologyUral Division Russian Academy of SciencesLabytnangi, Yamalo-Nenetski DistrictRussia
  5. 5.International Wildlife Consultants LtdCarmarthenUK

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