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Migration in Male Birds

1. Imagine a male bird migrating back north after a long, tough winter in Central America, Assume it flies during the day. Also assume that males of this species return to the same patch of grassland where they were the previous summer and that they are territorial. Finally, assume that this species is monogamous (male-female pairs) and can produce two clutches of offspring each summer.

a. What are two benefits that males of this species might gain by being migratorial?

b. What are two potential costs these individuals might incur during migration?

c. What must these males need to know and be able to do in order to use the sun for compass orientation?

d. Tell what other cues the males could use in this migratory return to their previous homesites and describe how they could orient or navigate using these cues. Remember that they fly during the daytime.

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Solution Preview

1.a. In this example the male migrates north following the end of winter during the day to the same nesting grounds and partner as the previous year. The question asks for two advantages to the male for this behavior. The first advantage is wintering in a milder and gentler climate saves energy and increase the male's survival rate. The second benefit is that in moving to wintering grounds they have a fresh supply of food to consume before the return to the mating grounds.

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Solution Summary

This solution discusses the advantages and considerations of migration and migratory cues in 305 words.