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Ovary mass and stable hydrogen isotope data for resident and migratory female dark-eyed juncos


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Stricker, C.A., 2019, Ovary mass and stable hydrogen isotope data for resident and migratory female dark-eyed juncos: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


This dataset includes ovary mass and stable hydrogen isotope compositions of feathers and claws from resident and migratory female dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis) collected during early spring at Mountain Lake Biological Station, Pembroke, Virginia. A total of 18 migrant and 15 resident female dark-eyed juncos, a songbird that exhibits seasonal sympatry, were caught during March-April. Stable hydrogen isotopes were used to infer relative breeding and wintering latitude of migrants. Ovary mass served as a proxy for reproductive development. These data were used to explore whether seasonal sympatry fosters or inhibits genetic divergence between migrants and residents and to the extent that this depends on their respective timing of [...]


Point of Contact :
Craig A Stricker, Southwest Region
Process Contact :
Craig A Stricker, Southwest Region
Originator :
Craig A Stricker
Metadata Contact :
Craig A Stricker
Publisher :
U.S. Geological Survey
Distributor :
U.S. Geological Survey - ScienceBase
SDC Data Owner :
Fort Collins Science Center
USGS Mission Area :

Attached Files

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junco_FemaleReproductiveTiming_data dictionary.csv 657 Bytes
junco_FemaleReproductiveTiming_data.csv 1.4 KB
Original FGDC Metadata

16.3 KB


To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to document differences in reproductive development in females that differ in migratory behavior and migratory distance. We found significantly larger ovaries in residents than migrants, which together suggest greater sensitivity and response to upstream endocrine stimulation in resident females. When comparing ovarian development within migrants, females with lower hydrogen isotopes (i.e. higher molting and presumably breeding latitudes) had smaller ovaries, suggesting that longer-distance migrations may delay reproductive development. We conclude that females differ in timing of reproductive development based on migratory strategy. Reproductive timing in females may serve to promote local adaptation and reduce interbreeding between resident and migrant populations.



  • Fort Collins Science Center (FORT)
  • USGS Data Release Products



Additional Information


Type Scheme Key
DOI doi:10.5066/P9RL64C8

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