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The resident Plain-creted Elaenia (Elaenia cristata)
and the migrant Lesser Elaenia (E. chiriquensis)

     Once I am focused on migration ecology since 2010, my Ph.D. thesis aims, in a short, to find out how migratory behavior affects individuals' fitness.


     To do that, we have selected a resident and a migratory congeneric species for two main reasons:

1) To comparatively answer several questions on the subject, mostly associated with carry-over effects. In other words, how events faced by individuals at their wintering grounds and along migration affects their breeding behavior?

2) The scenario found at our study site allows us to evaluate how these species interact at their breeding grounds. Thus, do they compete for food and/or nesting sites? Do they compete indirectly (apparent competition) to avoid nest predators?

General view of the Brazilian Cerrado study site in
Brasília (DF) during the dry season

A Lesser Elaenia individual equiped with a
geolocator tag: firsts results expected in 2013


     Most of our data is being gathered through behavioral observations (territoriality, forraging, nest monitoring).
     Nevertheless, we are also using stable isotope analyses and geolocators tags to achieve our results. To do so, a collaboration has been established with Dr. Jeffrey F. Kelly and Dr. Eli Bridge, who have plenty expertise on such methods and bird migration.



Find out more on this network and how
you can aid research on bird migration


     This is a never-seen approach to study bird migration and migration ecology in Brazil. Along with similar studies being developed by other Aves Internacionales' members (especially with the Tyrannus genera), we expect to achieve and publish groundbreaking results from 2013 on.

     If you would like to have additional information on this research, fell free to contact me.

Universidade de Brasília (UnB) - Zoology Dept. - Laboratório de Ecologia e Conservação de Aves - Brasília - DF, 70910-900, Brazil