Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Ringing or colour-banding does not increase predation mortality in redshanks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

Will Cresswell, J Lind, JL Quinn, Jeroen Minderman, DP Whitfield

School/Research organisations

Abstract

The use of metal and colour-rings or bands as a means of measuring Survival, movements and behaviour in birds is universal and fundamental to testing ecological and evolutionary theories. The practice rests on the largely untested assumption that the rings do not affect survival. However this assumption may not hold for several reasons, for example because the 'oddity effect' predicts predators select prey that appear different to their neighbours in order to avoid the 'confusion effect'. We compared the foraging behaviour and the death rates of redshanks Tringa totanus conspicuously marked with six colour rings and one metal ring each to unmarked birds in a study system, where routinely up to 50% of the total population are killed by avian predators during a winter. If avian predators selectively target and/or have a higher capture success of ringed birds then we would predict the proportion of colour-ringed birds in the population to decline through a winter. The proportion of colour-ringed birds in the population did not change over the Course of three separate winters, and in one winter the ratio of marked: unmarked birds found killed by sparrowhawks; Accipiter nisus was the same as the ratio of marked birds alive in the population. In the year with largest sample size, power was sufficient to detect a greater than 2.2% difference in predation rate between ringed and unringed groups. The average kill rate difference between ringed and unringed birds across the three winters was less than 1% (0-73 + 2.2%) Suggesting that even if there were differences in predation rate that were not detected because of low statistical power they were extremely small. There were no differences in any foraging measures comparing ringed and unringed birds, suggesting that the rings did not affect the ability of birds to meet their daily energy budgets. The results showed that colour-ringed birds were not preferentially targeted or killed by avian predators, and Suggest that the presence of a metal and even several large colour-rings is unlikely to affect behaviour and predation mortality even under extreme selection.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-316
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Avian Biology
Volume38
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2007

    Research areas

  • FLIPPER-BANDS, SOUTHEAST SCOTLAND, RAPTOR PREDATION, FEEDING LOCATION, RED WINGS, RISK, PREY, CHOICE, ATTACK, SPARROWHAWKS

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Conservation research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa is improving, although only in a few countries

    Pototsky, C. & Cresswell, W., 9 Jan 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Oryx.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. A fruit diet rather than invertebrate diet maintains a robust innate immunity in an omnivorous tropical songbird

    Nwaogu, C. J., Galema, A., Cresswell, W., Dietz, M. W. & Tieleman, B. I., 3 Jan 2020, In : Journal of Animal Ecology. Early View

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. FragSAD: a database of diversity and species abundance distributions from habitat fragments

    Chase, J. M., Liebergesell, M., Sagouis, A., May, F., Blowes, S. A., Berg, Å., Bernard, E., Brosi, B. J., Cadotte, M. W., Cayuela, L., Chiarello, A. G., Cosson, J. F., Cresswell, W., Dami, F. D., Dauber, J., Dickman, C. R., Didham, R. K., Edwards, D. P., Farneda, F. Z., Gavish, Y. & 22 others, Gonçalves-Souza, T., Guadagnin, D. L., Henry, M., López-Baucells, A., Kappes, H., Mac Nally, R., Manu, S., Martensen, A. C., McCollin, D., Meyer, C. F. J., Neckel-Oliveira, S., Nogueira, A., Pons, J-M., Raheem, D. C., Ramos, F. N., Rocha, R., Sam, K., Slade, E., Stireman, J. O., Struebig, M. J., Vasconcelos, H. & Ziv, Y., Dec 2019, In : Ecology. 100, 12, 1 p., e02861.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Weak breeding seasonality of a songbird in a seasonally arid tropical environment arises from individual flexibility and strongly seasonal moult

    Nwaogu, C. J., Tieleman, B. I. & Cresswell, W., Jul 2019, In : Ibis. 161, 3, p. 533-545 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Breeding limits foraging time: evidence of interrupted foraging response from body mass variation in a tropical environment

    Nwaogu, C. J., Dietz, M. W., Tieleman, B. I. & Cresswell, W., Apr 2017, In : Journal of Avian Biology. 48, 4, p. 563-569 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Cyprus wheatears Oenanthe cypriaca likely reach sub-Saharan African wintering grounds in a single migratory flight

    Xenophontos, M., Blackburn, E. & Cresswell, W., Apr 2017, In : Journal of Avian Biology. 48, 4, p. 529-535 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. An experimental evaluation of the effects of geolocator design and attachment method on between-year survival on Whinchats Saxicola rubetra

    Blackburn, E., Burgess, M., Freeman, B., Risely, A., Izang, A., Ivande, S. T., Hewson, C. & Cresswell, W., Jul 2016, In : Journal of Avian Biology. 47, 4, p. 530-539 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Foraging behaviour and fuel accumulation of capital breeders during spring migration as derived from a combination of satellite- and ground-based observations

    Chudzińska, M. E., Nabe-Nielsen, J., Nolet, B. A. & Madsen, J., Jul 2016, In : Journal of Avian Biology. 47, 4, p. 563-574 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Journal of Avian Biology (Journal)

    Will Cresswell (Reviewer)
    23 Mar 2018

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

ID: 325193

Top