Data from: Constructing and evaluating a continent-wide migratory songbird network across the annual cycle

Knight SM, Bradley DW, Clark RG, Gow EA, Bélisle M, Berzins LL, Blake T, Bridge ES, Burke L, Dawson RD, Dunn PO, Garant D, Holroyd GL, Hussell DJT, Lansdorp O, Laughlin AJ, Leonard ML, Pelletier F, Shutler D, Siefferman L, Taylor CM, Trefry HE, Vleck CM, Vleck D, Winkler DW, Whittingham LA, Norris DR. 2018. Data from: Constructing and evaluating a continent-wide migratory songbird network across the annual cycle. Movebank Data Repository.
Determining how migratory animals are spatially connected between breeding and non-breeding periods is essential for predicting the effects of environmental change and for developing optimal conservation strategies. Yet, despite recent advances in tracking technology, we lack comprehensive information on the spatial structure of migratory networks across a species’ range, particularly for small-bodied, long-distance migratory animals. We constructed a migratory network for a songbird and used network-based metrics to characterize the spatial structure and prioritize regions for conservation. The network was constructed using year-round movements derived from 133 archival light-level geolocators attached to Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) originating from 12 breeding sites across their North American breeding range. From these breeding sites, we identified 10 autumn stopover nodes (regions) in North America, 13 non-breeding nodes located around the Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, Florida, and the Caribbean, and 136 unique edges (migratory routes) connecting nodes. We found strong migratory connectivity between breeding and autumn stopover sites and moderate migratory connectivity between the breeding and non-breeding sites. We identified three distinct ‘communities’ of nodes that corresponded to western, central, and eastern North American flyways. Several regions were important for maintaining network connectivity, with South Florida and Louisiana as the top ranked non-breeding nodes and the Midwest as the top ranked stopover node. We show that migratory songbird networks can have both a high degree of mixing between seasons yet still show regionally distinct migratory flyways. Such information will be crucial for accurately predicting factors that limit and regulate migratory songbirds throughout the annual cycle. Our study highlights how network-based metrics can be valuable for identifying overall network structure and prioritizing specific regions within a network for conserving a wide variety of migratory animals.
Tachycineta bicolor,animal tracking,avian migration,flyway,geolocator,light-level logger,migratory connectivity,network theory,North America,Tachycineta bicolor,tree swallows
Tachycineta bicolor
Tree Swallow
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DOIs of related Publications
  title = {Data from: Constructing and evaluating a continent-wide migratory songbird network across the annual cycle},
  author = {Knight, SM and Bradley, DW and Clark, RG and Gow, EA and Bélisle, M and Berzins, LL and Blake, T and Bridge, ES and Burke, L and Dawson, RD and Dunn, PO and Garant, D and Holroyd, GL and Hussell, DJT and Lansdorp, O and Laughlin, AJ and Leonard, ML and Pelletier, F and Shutler, D and Siefferman, L and Taylor, CM and Trefry, HE and Vleck, CM and Vleck, D and Winkler, DW and Whittingham, LA and Norris, DR},
  year = {2018},
  URL = {},
  doi = {doi:10.5441/001/1.25551gr6},
  publisher = {Movebank data repository}
ID  - doi:10.5441/001/1.25551gr6
T1  - Data from: Constructing and evaluating a continent-wide migratory songbird network across the annual cycle
AU  - Knight, Samantha M.
AU  - Bradley, David W.
AU  - Clark, Robert G.
AU  - Gow, Elizabeth A.
AU  - Bélisle, Marc
AU  - Berzins, Lisha L.
AU  - Blake, Tricia
AU  - Bridge, Eli S.
AU  - Burke, Lauren
AU  - Dawson, Russell D.
AU  - Dunn, Peter O.
AU  - Garant, Dany
AU  - Holroyd, Geoffrey L.
AU  - Hussell, David J.T.
AU  - Lansdorp, Olga
AU  - Laughlin, Andrew J.
AU  - Leonard, Marty L.
AU  - Pelletier, Fanie
AU  - Shutler, Dave
AU  - Siefferman, Lynn
AU  - Taylor, Caz M.
AU  - Trefry, Helen E.
AU  - Vleck, Carol M.
AU  - Vleck, David
AU  - Winkler, David W.
AU  - Whittingham, Linda A.
AU  - Norris, D. Ryan
Y1  - 2018///
KW  - animal movement
KW  - animal tracking
KW  - avian migration
KW  - flyway
KW  - geolocator
KW  - light-level logger
KW  - migratory connectivity
KW  - network theory
KW  - North America
KW  - Tachycineta bicolor
KW  - tree swallows
PB  - Movebank data repository
UR  -
DO  - doi:10.5441/001/1.25551gr6
ER  -