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Behavioral Differences of Female Spruce Grouse Undertaking Short and Long Migrations

Michael A. Schroeder
The Condor
Vol. 87, No. 2 (May, 1985), pp. 281-286
DOI: 10.2307/1366896
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1366896
Page Count: 6
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Behavioral Differences of Female Spruce Grouse Undertaking Short and Long Migrations
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Abstract

Movements by 93 radio-tagged Spruce Grouse (Dendragapus canadensis) between winter and summer ranges in southwestern Alberta were compared between sex and age classes. A bird's movement from the range occupied during its first winter to its first potential breeding area was considered to be the spring phase of dispersal. Subsequent movements between the breeding and wintering areas were classed as migratory movements. The similarity between spring dispersal and migration distances within a sex, and the site fidelity of adult females to the range occupied during their first winter, support the suggestion that migratory movements in Spruce Grouse retrace their first spring dispersal movement made when about nine months old. Proportionally more females than males moved long distances. Among adult females, short-distance migrants (moving <2 km) were more variable than long-distance migrants in the timing of migratory movements. Additionally, short-distance migrants associated less with other adult females, especially other short-distance migrants, in winter flocks than did long-distance migrants. The behavioral differences may reflect the proximal causes producing each type of migration/dispersal.

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