Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 149, Issue 2, pp 141–150

Birds of a feather winter together: migratory connectivity in the Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus

  • Petr Procházka
  • Keith A. Hobson
  • Zsolt Karcza
  • Jelena Kralj
Original Article


To investigate migratory connectivity in the Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus, we analysed (1) all available sub-Saharan ringing recoveries and (2) stable isotopes in feathers grown in Africa sampled at 17 European breeding sites across a migratory divide. A cluster analysis of ringing recoveries showed remarkable connectivity between breeding and non-breeding grounds. Two main clusters represented populations taking the two main migratory routes [southwesterly (SW) and southeasterly (SE)]. Stable isotope analysis confirmed the separation of wintering areas of SW- and SE-migrating populations. Higher δ15N values in feathers of SE-migrating birds indicated that they occupied more xeric biome types. Values of δ13C that did not differ significantly among populations were higher than those from feathers of known European origin and indicated a C4 biome. Three populations with an unknown migratory direction were assigned to the SE-migrating populations on the basis of δ15N values.


Acrocephalus scirpaceus Migratory connectivity Migratory divide Ringing recoveries Stable isotopes 

Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petr Procházka
    • 1
  • Keith A. Hobson
    • 2
  • Zsolt Karcza
    • 3
  • Jelena Kralj
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Vertebrate Biology AS CRBrnoCzech Republic
  2. 2.Environment CanadaSaskatoonCanada
  3. 3.Hungarian Bird Ringing CentreMME/BirdLife HungaryBudapestHungary
  4. 4.Institute for Ornithology CASAZagrebCroatia

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