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Changing Priorities: The Effect of Pre-Migratory Fattening on the Trade-Off between Foraging and Vigilance

N. B. Metcalfe and R. W. Furness
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Vol. 15, No. 3 (1984), pp. 203-206
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4599720
Page Count: 4
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Changing Priorities: The Effect of Pre-Migratory Fattening on the Trade-Off between Foraging and Vigilance
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Abstract

Many birds accumulate fat reserves prior to departure on long distance migration. Since there will be an increased food requirement during the pre-migratory period, it is to be expected that more time will be invested in foraging, at the expense of other activities. The allocation of time to anti-predatory behavior in migratory ruddy turnstones (adults) was found to decrease prior to migration (Fig. 1); non-migratory individuals (juveniles) showed no decrease over the same time period (Fig. 2). This is interpreted as a change in the optimal adult behavior, the cost of a reduced rate of resource accumulation outweighing the additional risk of predation which results from the decrease in vigilance.

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