Sedentary v resident - Definition

To: Steve <>
Subject: Sedentary v resident - Definition
From: Neil and Liz Baker <>
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2014 15:16:53 +0100 (BST)
Hi Steve

Surely this relates to the individual or at least a number of individuals in 
for instance a source population. From our 10 years ringing tropical forest 
birds at 6-7 degrees south we know that many, most !  all !! adult individuals 
are sedentary under normal (i.e. their forest habitat is not unduly disturbed) 
conditions but juvs / imms experience post breeding dispersal. In this case the 
adults are sedentary once established on territory while the population can be 
considered resident in the greater habitat. Our East Coast Akalat (a forest 
robin, nearly 1,000 captures) for instance where sedentariness (sorry must be a 
real word there somewhere) creates a number of distinct races less than a few 
hundred km apart.

It gets more complicated when sedentary birds in one forest are augmented by 
migratory birds of the same species / greater population when part of the 
greater habitat (in this case our coastal forests) dries out creating local 
migrants. These birds are resident within the habitat type but seasonal 
migrants of sometimes hundreds of km. Our Red-capped Robinchat (abt 1,500 
captures) for instance where we had no record at all of any migrant (including 
passage birds) actually staying to become a member of the sedentary population.

Complicated yes but isn't this one of the reasons we love our birds.



Neil and Liz Baker, Tanzania Bird Atlas, P.O. Box 1605, Iringa, Tanzania.
Mobiles: +255 785-311298 and +255 784-834273.
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On Sunday, 1 June 2014, 14:08, Carl Clifford <> wrote:

In "a Dictionary of Birds" Ed. Campbell & Lack 1985, sedentary is defined as 
"commonly used in the special sense of 'non-migratory' and resident as " 
remaining throughout the year in the area under reference, the term being 
applied to a species, subspecies, population, or individual bird as the context 
requires; in another usage the term means breeding in the area, a distinction 
being then drawn between 'permanent resident' and 'summer resident' (='summer 

Carl Clifford

> On 1 Jun 2014, at 19:52, Sonja Ross <> wrote:
> Hi to you all,
> Do they have special meaning when referring to birds?
> If it was people, I would say that they were different and would agree with 
> the quote Steve gives from Hanzab.
> Sonja
>> On 01/06/2014, at 7:13 PM, martin cachard <> wrote:
>> hey Steve,
>> that's a good question...
>> i'd have thought personally that they would be interchangeable...
>> but maybe sedentary defines that they don't move far beyond their territory 
>> boundaries when adult, but residents do wander out of them to feed but 
>> always return to their breeding grounds within shorter time-frames than say 
>> a migrant would (say Procellariiformes  as an eg of resident)...  
>> but u know what, I don't think so...
>> I think that they probably are one in the same thing when referring to 
>> birds, but it will be interesting to see what others think... I've often 
>> pondered the same question especially  when much younger but now I just use 
>> them to mean the same thing...
>> cheers,
>> martin cachard, 
>> cairns
>> 0428 782 808
>>> From: 
>>> Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2014 10:58:38 +1000
>>> To: 
>>> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Sedentary v resident
>>> G’day all
>>> Are these terms interchangeable?
>>> For example: The HANZAB entry for Little Shrikethrush movements states 
>>> “Almost certainly sedentary, but widely described as resident in literature”
>>> The glossary in the latest Pizzey states:
>>> Sedentary: staying in the same locality throughout the year
>>> Resident: remaining in one place all year; non-migratory
>>> In volume 1a of HANZAB they state:
>>> Resident: most individuals non-migratory though some may move long distances
>>> Sedentary: most individuals not normally moving more than 50 km.
>>> Would someone please explain the distinction with examples?
>>> Cheers
>>> Steve Clark
>>> Hamilton, Vic
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Birding-Aus mailing list
>>> To change settings or unsubscribe visit:

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