Being a keen bird ringer, I have joined several projects that have given me the opportunity to meet migratory birds in various parts of their annual cycle. This has stimulated my fascination in migratory birds´ ability to perform the often continent-wide movements. I am further interested in how the birds time these movements with other important parts of their annual cycle such as reproduction and feather moult.
My PhD project focuses on the movement ecology of aerial insectivorous birds such as swifts Apodidae and nightjars Caprimulgidae. Being specialized in catching their main prey in the air, swifts and nightjars would have the ability to continually exploit the surroundings for food availability while flying. This opportunistic way of living may enhance the use of a fly-and-forage strategy during migration as an alternative to the flight-stopover strategy commonly used among migratory birds. Aerial food resources are on the other hand likely fluctuating with environmental factors such as temperature and precipitation in the areas the birds visit. By using data from individually tracked swifts and nightjars, the annual movement in space and time will be described on an individual and population level. Further, I will analyse the spatiotemporal variation in the annual movement within and between individuals and evaluate the relative importance of environmental factors. On this project I work with Susanne Åkesson and Anders Hedenström.
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