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Spring migration of northern pintails from California's Central Valley wintering area tracked by satellite telemetry: Routes, timing, and destinations

January 1, 2005

We used satellite transmitters to track the 2000–2003 spring migrations of adult female Northern Pintails (Anas acuta L., 1758) from California's Central Valley, USA. PTT-tagged Pintails departed during late February to mid-March, and 77%–87% stopped first in the region of south-central Oregon, extreme northwestern Nevada, and northeastern California (SONEC). Subsequently, most Pintails used migration strategies characterized by the length of stay in SONEC and subsequent destinations: (i) extended stay in SONEC, migrated late April to early May directly to Alaska over the Pacific Ocean (7%–23% annually); (ii) same timing as in i, but flew to Alaska along the Pacific Coast using stopovers (0%–28% annually); (iii) moderate period in SONEC, migrated late March to mid-April directly primarily to southern Alberta in Prairie Canada (17%–39% annually), with many moving to northern Canada or Alaska; or (iv) short period in SONEC, migrated early to late March to Prairie Canada via stopovers primarily in southern Idaho and western Montana (32%–50% annually), with some moving to northern Canada or Alaska. Pintails that bypassed SONEC used these same strategies or moved easterly. Pintails modified migration strategies relative to record cold temperatures and wetland abundance in the mid-continent prairie region.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2005
Title Spring migration of northern pintails from California's Central Valley wintering area tracked by satellite telemetry: Routes, timing, and destinations
DOI 10.1139/z05-125
Authors M.R. Miller, John Y. Takekawa, J. P. Fleskes, D.L. Orthmeyer, Michael L. Casazza, W.M. Perry
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Canadian Journal of Zoology
Series Number
Index ID 1008110
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Ecological Research Center