We have identified habitat characteristics and tree species important to wood warblers.
At the wintering site in Ghana, forest cover declined by 26 per cent between 2012 and 2014. Despite being a ‘forest’ species, numbers of wood warblers remained stable, as a result of use of non-forest wooded habitats. Analysis of remote sensing data suggested suitable forest habitats have declined by c.8 per cent across the species’ West African range, with >10 per cent loss in more western countries.
Analysis has yet to start on turtle dove wintering ecology, but initial impressions from fieldwork has highlighted the importance of safe roosting sites, near to a source of water. Diet appears to vary as the winter progresses and different food sources become available. A particular species of grass, Panicum laetum, has been identified as heavily used by birds – interestingly, our colleagues in Burkina Faso have reported use of the same species.
Analysis of remote sensing data suggests that European trends of long-distance migrants are related to the timing and rate of senescence in West Africa. These are influenced, but not strongly driven, by climatic conditions. There is no evidence of a direct link between climate and bird trends, or greening and bird trends.