Population Dynamics and Partial Migration of the European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) in Different Habitats

  • Adriaensen F
  • Dhondt A
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(1) We studiedd ifferencesin habitatd istribution,l ocal survivala nd mating success betweent he two morphs( resident/migranto)f the partiallym igratoryE uropeanr obin near Antwerp (Belgium). (2) Mean local survival of resident males (50%) was higher than local survival of migrant males (17%). During cold winters survival of residents decreased with about 50%. (3) Mating success decreased with settling date from 74% for early settling residents, over 44% for migrantst o 19%f or late-settlingb irds of unknowns tatus. (4) The probability of breeding is two to four times higher in residents than in migrants. (5) Residenta nd migratoryr obinsw ereh abitats eparatedb oth in the breedings eason andi n winter:7 0%o f breedingm alesw erem igratoryin the woodland,b uti n the parka nd gardens most males were resident. Almost all females were migratory. (6) Unbalanced reproductive success of the resident and migratory morphs and arguments for conditionality show that partial migration in the European robin is a conditional strategy in which the migrants are making the best of a bad job. (7) We explain why our conclusionsd o not contradicte xperimentael videncef or a strong genetic influence on migratory tendencies in the European robin.

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  • Frank Adriaensen

  • Andre A. Dhondt

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