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Orientational Responses To Different Light Stimuli By Adult and Young Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus Schoenobaenus) During Autumn Migration: a Funnel Technique Study

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In a North-eastern area of the Po Valley (Northern Italy), tests on the orientation pattern of sedge warblers during autumn migration were carried out for two consecutive years. It was found that the sedge warblers tested in Emlen funnel cages orientate in a southerly direction, in accordance with the expected migratory line during postnuptial migration. The recorded mean directions are revealed as very similar, at least during the beginning of the night, in both the adults and the young birds. Nevertheless, the orientation of the latter seems to be more disturbed by natural or artificial light sources such as the sunrise, the moonlight or the horizon glow present in the area, and towards which they seem to show a tactic component. Owing to the fact that the sunlight at the point of sunset is the only light stimulus which never induced a phototactic response in the juvenile birds, it is possible to presume that the sunset point bearing may be one of the orientational cues used by sedge warblers to establish the course of its migratory flight.

Affiliations: 1: (Istituto di Zoologia, Università di Parma, Via Università 12-43100 Parma, Italy)


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