Re: Honeyeater migration

Subject: Re: Honeyeater migration
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Mon, 6 May 2002 12:59:20 +1000 (EST)
On Mon, 6 May 2002  wrote:
> I don't think small honeyeaters could get very far without replenishing
> reserves.  As such their route must be determined by food availability.

Alerstam's Bird Migration gives the example of Sedge Warblers doing
the 4000km journey from England to West Africa in a single hop without
feeding.  A Sedge Warbler's normal weight is 10g (similar to a Spinebill)
although with the fat reserves accumulated for pre-migration they may
weigh 20g.  So wouldn't be small honeyeaters be physiologically capable of
traversing a considerable part of coastal E. Australia without feeding,
if they can accumulate suitable amounts of fat beforehand?

> A search of "Emu" should find at least some of this work.

The relevant ref, for those who Emu collection stretches
further back than mine, is (I think):

Munro, U., W. Wiltschko & H. Ford (1993): Changes in the migratory
direction of Yellow-faced Honeyeaters, Lichenostomus chrysops
(Meliphagidae), during autumn migration.  Emu 93, 59-62.


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