Journal of Ornithology

, 150:685 | Cite as

Differential migration of the sexes cannot be explained by the body size hypothesis in Teal

  • Matthieu GuillemainEmail author
  • Richard Hearn
  • Roy King
  • Michel Gauthier-Clerc
  • Géraldine Simon
  • Alain Caizergues
Short Note


The “body size hypothesis” predicts that if individuals of a population migrate different distances from the breeding to the wintering grounds, the distance should be related to the differential ability to cope with adverse conditions, with larger individuals wintering further north. Data collected over a 40-year period in Essex, UK and the Camargue, southern France, revealed that the average body mass of Teal ringed in Essex during these years was actually not greater than that of Teal ringed in the Camargue. A higher proportion of males were included in the UK ringing catch than in the French catch, but we found no support for the body size hypothesis to explain such differential migration of the sexes.


Age ratio Anas crecca Body mass Differential migration Sex ratio Teal Winter 



We would like to thank Baz Hughes and two anonymous referees for valuable comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. We are most grateful to Luc Hoffmann, Hubert Kowalski, Heinz Hafner, Alan Johnson and the many other individuals who ringed the Teal at the Tour du Valat over 25 years, and to George Brown and Graham Ekins who continued the ringing at Abberton during the 1990s. We would especially like to thank Marc Lutz, Paul Isenmann and the Centre de Recherche sur la Biologie des Populations d’Oiseaux (Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris) for their help while computerizing the French Teal database. This work was partly funded by the French “Agence Nationale de la Recherche” (ANR) “Santé-Environnement/Santé au travail”, the “European Union’s Framework Program for Research and Technological Development (FP6)”.


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Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthieu Guillemain
    • 1
    Email author
  • Richard Hearn
    • 2
  • Roy King
    • 2
  • Michel Gauthier-Clerc
    • 3
  • Géraldine Simon
    • 3
  • Alain Caizergues
    • 4
  1. 1.Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune SauvageCNERA Avifaune MigratriceArlesFrance
  2. 2.Wildfowl and Wetlands TrustSlimbridgeUK
  3. 3.Centre de Recherche de la Tour du ValatArlesFrance
  4. 4.Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune SauvageCNERA Avifaune MigratriceNantesFrance

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