Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Philip Taylor

Second Advisor

Dr. Christopher Guglielmo


Stopovers, periods o f rest and refuelling between migratory flights, play an integral role in determining fitness o f migrating passerines. Migration success is dependent on decisions made about when to arrive and leave particular stopover sites and how to utilize regional landscapes. I used mark-recapture analysis o f bird banding data from a stopover site and direct measurements from radio telemetry data covering a stopover landscape of~20 x 40 km at Long Point, Ontario, to examine stopover decisions. Specifically, I estimated probabilities that individuals would leave a site in relation to age, fat stores, season, and the extent to which decisions made in the landscape influence decisions at particular sites. I found decisions to leave a stopover site are largely age-dependent regardless of fat stores or season with adults having higher departure probabilities than young. Additionally, these initial decisions are primarily determined by landscape scale decisions prior to landfall although divergent life histories favour different strategies. Knowledge of the evolution and ecology of migration and for conservation o f migratory passerines requires an integrated understanding o f how migrants use local sites and broad landscapes to optimize their migration.



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