No evidence for synchrony of physiological or behavioural preparations for migration in a short-distance migratory parrot
Gartrell, BD and Jones, SM, No evidence for synchrony of physiological or behavioural preparations for migration in a short-distance migratory parrot, Emu: Austral Ornithology, 112, (1) pp. 1-8. ISSN 0158-4197 (2012) [Refereed Article]
The synchronisation of metabolism and behaviour to support migration has been demonstrated in a wide range
of migratory organisms. However these models have been developed using long-distance migrants. This study investigated
physiological and behavioural changes associated with short-distance migration in Swift Parrots (Lathamus discolor).
Non-migratory Musk Lorikeets (Glossopsitta concinna) were included as a comparator species. The mean body mass and
fat score of wild Swift Parrots was higher in spring than in summer. Mean pectoral muscle condition score did not vary
seasonally. There was no signiﬁcant variation in plasma corticosterone concentration in either captive adult male
Swift Parrots or captive Musk Lorikeets, when examined either by month or when pooled by season. Captive Swift
Parrots showed inconsistent diurnal and nocturnal orientation preferences. There was no evidence of migratory restlessness
in any of the periods examined. Pectoral muscle condition, plasma corticosterone concentrations and behavioural changes
of migratory restlessness and orientation showed no clear seasonal pattern of synchronous change that is expected in a
migratory species. This may reﬂect the weakly synchronised migration of the Swift Parrots or that the fairly short-distance
migration requires minimal physiological preparation.