Have you ever seen a colour-ringed Sanderling and perhaps wondered why it spends the non-breeding* season on a British or Irish beach rather than on one in Portugal, Ghana or even further south? Why fly from Greenland to Namibia, a distance of over 20,000 km, when spending the winter months in the UK or Ireland requires a flight of as little as 3,700 km? Perhaps the chance of survival is greater in other countries or perhaps birds that travel further have a larger lifetime breeding output? A paper by Jeroen Reneerkens and colleagues provides some of the answers.
*The term non-breeding season (rather than winter season) is used in this blog because Sanderling travelling as far as Namibia experience a southern summer at the same time as UK birds are experiencing a northern winter.
Pros and cons of travelling further?
At the end of the summer, juvenile Sanderling from Greenland…
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