Home sweet home

jkam151106_0340On 27 August Khaluf returned to Barr Al Hikman. She flew straight from the Caspian Sea to exactly the area were we caught her already two years ago. Khaluf was the last of the tracked birds that returned to Oman, the other four birds were already in the area for some time. It means that we were able to track the full migration of five birds for the second time. An unexpected and exciting result. We still have to dive into our data to see all the secrets that are in, but we can very briefly compare this year migration to last year migration. In general, birds have been very consistent in their migration strategy. Most birds followed the same routes, went to the same stopover places and, at least during spring migration, were consistent in their timing. Three out of five birds were supposed to breed at exactly the same place as last year, the other two birds were supposed to breed some 100 km’s away from their former supposed breeding location. Three birds were staying for more than 30 days at their supposed breeding location, which could mean that they were successful. As said, this is just a very quick and dirty comparison. We hope we can soon dive into the data and analyse all the nitty-gritty details of the bar-tailed godwit migration. Bird first of all, we hope we can follow ‘our’ birds for at least another winter. If we are able to follow them for another winter, we predict that they stay in exactly the small area in which they are staying now (as they did last two winters). Why would they move somewhere else if they can enjoy a sunny winter at Barr Al Hikman, the area that offers them so much food and safety?

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