Territory strategy of the migratory Brown Shrike

Territory strategy of the migratory Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus
Severinghaus, Lucia Liu
IBIS 1996 vol. 138, no. 3, pp. 460-465

Abstract: Brown Shrikes Lanius cristatus are both transients and winter residents in Taiwan. Large numbers of birds crowd into the available habitat during the transient period, and the cost of maintaining territories changes greatly, depending on the number of shrikes present. This study examined how wintering Brown Shrikes adapt to the changing level of competition in territory establishment.

About 24% of autumn transients arrived before any wintering birds, while 73% of wintering birds arrived during autumn transient time. The frequency of aggression recorded was significantly related to the number of birds seen along the transect line that day. Among ringed birds that returned during transient time, 80% returned directly to their previous territories, but some waited for the departure of transient birds before establishing territories. Territory compression occurred at high population densities. Departure from and arrival at the study area were frequent during the winter, but no birds moved territories within the study area. On average, 25% of ringed wintering shrikes returned to the study site in the subsequent years, while no transients returned. This low site tenacity may be, in part, a result of a high persecution rate along the migration route.