Project properties

Title Bimodal dispersal strategies in black wheatears - radiotracking wild birds (fieldwork in Spain)
Group Behavioural Ecology
Project type thesis
Credits 36
Supervisor(s) Gretchen Wagner
Examiner(s) Gretchen Wagner
Contact info
Begin date 2023/01/01
End date 2023/12/31
Description Most animals leave their parents when they are independent enough to fend for themselves, but in some species offspring associate with their parents for an extended time. In the black wheatear (Oenanthe leucura) offspring do both; most leave their parents as soon as they can, but a few stick around for many more months. Currently, we have no information about the wintering habitat, social behaviour, or fitness outcomes of the promptly dispersing individuals. By fitting fledglings with radio transmitters, we will be able to track these birds to shed light on their post-dispersal conditions and elucidate the fitness consequences of the divergent strategies. Since increasingly harsh winters are thought to play a critical role in the decline of this species, revealing the winter habits of the majority of first-year birds can inform conservation initiatives.

Projects will run from early spring until late summer in the field site near Guadix, Spain.
Used skills fieldwork, radiotelemetry, behavioural observation, bird catching, statistics
Requirements The fieldwork best suits those that can work well both independently and in a team. Patience and flexibility are essential! A valid driving license and some knowledge of Spanish is beneficial.