A Nearctic-Neotropical Migratory Songbird's Nesting Phenology and Clutch Size are Predictors of Accumulated Cyclone Energy
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A Nearctic-Neotropical Migratory Songbird's Nesting Phenology and Clutch Size are Predictors of Accumulated Cyclone Energy

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  • Journal Title:
    Scientific Reports
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  • Description:
    The breeding season phenology of Nearctic-Neotropical migratory songbirds is constrained by subsequent seasons resulting in single-brooded behavior (one successful clutch per year) in some species. Early cessation of the nesting season prior to an active hurricane season will allow for behavioral plasticity during a physiologically challenging migration. Hurricane activity shows a high degree of inter-annual variability. I show that a single-brooded Nearctic-breeding species' (Catharus fuscescens) nesting phenology and clutch size are significant predictors of Accumulated Cyclone Energy. The most skilled predictive model includes both mean clutch initiation date and mean clutch size (R-2 = 0.84). Spearman rank correlation coefficients for both predictors with subsequent major hurricanes (1998-2016) are -0.55 and 0.52, respectively. Therefore, May and June clutch initiation and clutch size showed stronger correlations with subsequent hurricanes than early season (prior to August) meteorological predictions widely publicized by CSU, NOAA, and TSR (<= 0.45, 2003-2014). Rainfall anomalies in the southern Amazon basin associated with ENSO cycles are a possible proximate cue affecting phenology and clutch size. This discovery potentially has far-reaching ornithological, meteorological, and social implications and shows that tropical storms significantly constrain breeding season behavior providing renewed evidence that hurricane activity is a primary factor regulating Nearctic-Neotropical migratory songbird populations.
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    Scientific Reports 8 (9899) 
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  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC6028460
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    CC BY
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    PMC
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