Advances in tracking technology have documented an astonishing array of migratory movements and revealed that, in many species, individuals within a population can exhibit different migration strategies. Yet, the drivers responsible for variation in migration strategies remain poorly understood. In this thesis, I evaluate methods used to attach tracking devices to Black Oystercatchers (Haematopus bachmani), describe their migration, and test a suite of hypotheses for partial migration. I found that devices attached using a leg-loop harness had no detectable effect on whether individuals were resighted in subsequent years but that devices attached to leg bands significantly reduced resighting probability. I confirmed that Black Oystercatchers are partial migrants: some individuals remained resident in Alaska year-round while others migrated to British Columbia. I also found evidence that individual migration decisions were influenced by an individual's diet, providing support for the trophic polymorphism hypothesis for partial migration.
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Thesis advisor: Green, David
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