Migrant Landbird Study Group

Promoting collaborative research for migratory landbirds across flyways

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Intra-african bird migration on the coast of Kenya

Study species: Mangrove Kingfisher; Red-capped Robin-chat

Research topics: Geolocation tracking; Migration routes

Project organiser: Raphaƫl Nussbaumer

Status: Active

Discover destination, timing and drivers of the migration of Mangrove Kingfisher and Red-capped Robin Chat using geolocators.

The irreversible habitat fragmentation and degradation taking place on the east African coast calls for urgent studies of our intra-African migratory birds, whose migration routes and timing may be adversely affected by such changes. In one of the first studies leveraging geolocators to uncover intra-African bird migration, we propose to investigate the specific migration patterns of two Afro-tropical migrant species: the Mangrove Kingfisher and the Red-capped Robin-chat. Beyond the description of migratory patterns in terms of timing and route, we will investigate the speed and rhythm of the Mangrove Kingfisher's migration, and reveal the location of breeding grounds of Red-capped Robin-chat populations that spend the non-breeding season along the coast of Kenya. We plan to equip 15 Red-capped Robin-chats and 10 Mangrove Kingfishers around Watamu, Kenya every year from 2020 to 2023. These data will be combined with ringing data and citizen science bird atlas data to provide a detailed picture of these two species' migration in East Africa. Regular updates of the project will be posted on ResearchGate. This project is carried out by the scientific team of A Rocha Kenya and thanks to the generous support of the Swiss Ornithological Institute.