EVIDENCE OF FOOD-BASED COMPETITION AMONG PASSERINE MIGRANTS DURING STOPOVER

Frank R. Moore, University of Southern Mississippi
W YONG

Abstract

Local concentrations of migrating, fat-depleted birds with similar diets can lead to increased competition for food at a time when energy demand is high. Results of a predator-exclosure experiment indicate that intercontinental passerine migrants depress food abundance during stopover following migration across the Gulf of Mexico. Moreover, migrants that stop when a high number of potential competitors are present replenish energy reserves more slowly than migrants that stop under low density conditions. Competition increase the rate of food depletion and may decrease the probability that a migrant will meet its energetic requirements and complete a successful migration.