• Jones, Jason
  • Gibb, Christine E.
  • Millard, Susanne C.
  • Barg, Jennifer J.
  • Girvan, Katharine M.
  • Veit, Lisa M.
  • Friesen, Vicki L.
  • Robertson, Raleigh J.


Bergmann's rule, the tendency for body size to be positively correlated with latitude, is widely accepted but the mechanisms behind the patterns are still debated. Bergmann's originally conceived mechanism was based on heat conservation; other proposed mechanisms invoke phylogeny, migration distance and resource seasonality. With the goal of examining these mechanisms, we quantified morphological variation across the breeding range of a Neotropical migratory songbird, the cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulea).


We sampled nine cerulean warbler populations, spanning the species’ breeding range. We captured 156 males using targeted playback and model presentation, and included 127 adult males in our analyses of morphological variation. We used an information‐theoretical approach to identify climatic variables associated with geographical variation in body size.