English, Philina A.

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    Data from: Tracking the migration of a nocturnal aerial insectivore in the Americas
    (2017-04-07) English, Philina A.; Mills, Alexander M.; Cadman, Michael D.; Heagy, Audrey E.; Rand, Greg J.; Green, David J.; Nocera, Joseph J.
    Background: Populations of Eastern Whip-poor-will (Antrostomus vociferous) appear to be declining range-wide. While this could be associated with habitat loss, declines in populations of many other species of migratory aerial insectivores suggest that changes in insect availability and/or an increase in the costs of migration could also be important factors. Due to their quiet, nocturnal habits during the non-breeding season, little is known about whip-poor-will migration and wintering locations, or the extent to which different breeding populations share risks related to non-breeding conditions. Results: We tracked 20 males and 2 females breeding in four regions of Canada using geolocators. Wintering locations ranged from the gulf coast of central Mexico to Costa Rica. Individuals from the northern-most breeding site and females tended to winter furthest south, although east-west connectivity was low. Four individuals appeared to cross the Gulf of Mexico either in spring or autumn. On southward migration, most individuals interrupted migration for periods of up to 15 days north of the Gulf, regardless of their subsequent route. Fewer individuals showed signs of a stopover in spring. Conclusions: Use of the southeastern United States for migratory stopover and a concentration of wintering locations in Guatemala and neighbouring Mexican provinces suggest that both of these regions should be considered potentially important for Canadian whip-poor-wills. This species shows some evidence of both "leapfrog" and sex-differential migration, suggesting that individuals in more northern parts of their breeding range could have higher migratory costs.