Behaviour 2019
Migratory Movements of Juvenile American Robins with Elevated Blood Lead from Flint, Michigan
Kenneth J Glynn1, Dorothy L Zahor1, Jamie M Cornelius2. 1Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, United States; 2Oregon State University, Corvallis , OR, United States

During the juvenile life stage, individuals learn to recognize and respond to cues eliciting migratory behaviors. This period of development is associated with extensive neuronal structuring, making it a sensitive/vulnerable time period. Lead (Pb) is a neurotoxin known to disrupt neural pathways and cause developmental delays in young. The recent Flint, Michigan drinking water crisis exemplifies the dangers associated with lead exposure/accumulation. Preliminary data revealed that juvenile American robins captured in Flint at irrigated locations, have elevated blood lead levels. During the summer of 2021, we will attach radio tags to high-lead juveniles to monitor their movements before and after their first annual fall migration. The Motus Wildlife Tracking network will be utilized to monitor their movement patterns/behavior. Due to the neurotoxicity of lead, the increased sensitivity of developing young, and the essentiality of learned behaviors during the juvenile life stage, we predict that juvenile American robins will experience neuronal and behavioral dysfunction from their elevated lead exposure, resulting in a decline of migratory success on their first annual migration.