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A remarkable aspect of bird migration is its nocturnality, particularly common in Passeriformes. The switch in activity from purely diurnal to also nocturnal is evident even in caged birds that during migratory periods develop an intense nocturnal restlessness, termed Zugunruhe. The mechanisms that control this major change in activity are mostly unknown. Previous work with Sylvia warblers suggested an involvement of melatonin, a hormone associated with day-night cycles in most vertebrates. In a recent study we found no effects of melatonin administration on Zugunruhe during spring migration. However, previous studies indicated that the response to melatonin manipulation could differ between spring and autumn migration, which are in fact separate life history stages. Here we tested whether a non-invasive treatment with melatonin can alter Zugunruhe in wild garden warblers S. borin and blackcaps S. atricapilla subject to temporary captivity at an autumnal stopover site. Food availability in the cage (yes/no) was added as a second factor because previous work showed that it enhanced Zugunruhe.