Phenology of Passerine bird migration in the Danube Delta, Romania

Open access


The Palearctic-African bird migration system has fascinated ornithologists for decades and is one of the most well-known. However, there is strong spatial variation in the level of knowledge, and the South-Eastern European Flyway (which passes through the Balkan Peninsula) has been studied far less than the Western European Flyway (which passes through the Iberian Peninsula and Italy). In this study, we describe the phenology of 16 common woodland species, with a detailed analysis of the pre-migration period as well as an age-specific analysis of the timing of migration. As a general trend for species wintering in sub-Saharan Africa, adult birds migrated before first-year birds, in contrast with short-distance Mediterranean wintering species, in which we observed no difference. We also provide information comparing the timing of the migration of birds with characters of subspecies of Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus and Chiffchaff Phyloscopus collybita, which have not previously been reported.

Bairlein F. 2001. Results of bird ringing in the study of migration routes and behaviour. Ardea 89: 7-19.

Bairlein F. 2003. The study of bird migrations - some future perspectives. Bird Study 50: 243-253.

Bairlein F., Jenni L., Kaiser A., Karlsson L., van Noordwijk A., Peach W., Pilastro A., Spina F., Walinder G. (eds). 1995. Manual of Field Methods, ESF-Network Field instruction. European Science Foundation, Wilhelmshaven, Germany.

Berthold P. 1973. Proposals for the standardization of the presentation of data of annual events, especially of migration data. Auspicium 5: 49-59.

Bønløkke J., Madsen J. J., Thorup K., Pedersen K. T., Bjerrum M., Rahbek C. (eds). 2006. The Danish Bird Migration Atlas. Rhodos, Humlebæk, Denmark. (in Dutch).

Both C., Bouwhuis S., Lessells C., Visser M. 2006. Climate change and population declines in a long-distance migratory bird. Nature 441: 81-83.

Bruderer B., Liechti F. 1999. Bird migration across the Mediterranean. In: (eds). Proc. 22 nd Int. Ornithol. Congr. BirdLife South Africa, Durban. pp. 1983-1999.

Busse P. 2001. European Passerine Migration System - What is known and what is lacking. Ring 23: 2-36.

Busse P., Zaniewicz G., Cofta T. 2014. Evolution of the western Palaearctic Passerine migration pattern presentation style. The Ring 36: 3-21.

Clement P., Helbig A.J., Small B. 1998. Taxonomy and identification of chiffchaffs in the Western Palearctic. British Bird 91: 361-376.

Cramp (eds). 1992. Handbook of he birds of Europe, the middle east and north Africa. Oxford, New-York.

Cristol D.C., Baker M.B., Carbone C. 1999. Differential migration revisited: latitudinal segregation by age and sex class. Current Ornithology 15: 33-87.

Csörgo T., Kelemen A.M. 2000. Autumn migration of Paddyfield Warbler Acrocephalus agricola in the Danube delta region. Ornis Hungarica 10: 137-140. (in Hungarian).

Demongin L. (eds). 2013. Guide d’Identification des oiseaux en main. Mortsel (B). (in French).

Dereliev S.G. 2006. The Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis in the new millennium:a thriving species or a species on the brink of extinction? In: Boere G. C., Galbraith C. A.,Stroud D. A. (eds). Waterbirds around the world: A global overview of the conservation, management and research of the world’s waterbird flyways. The Stationery Office, Edinburgh, UK. pp. 619-623.

Diadicheva E., Matsievskaya N. 2000. Migration routes of waders using stopover sites in the Azov-Black Sea region, Ukraine. Die Vogelwarte 40: 161-178.

Diadicheva E.A., Popcnko V.M., Koshelev A.I. 2005. Passerines of Molochnyy Liman in the period of seasonal migrations. Branta 8: 133-159. (in Russian).

Didrickson Ö.K., Didrickson J.,Busse P. 2007. Autumn migration dynamics, body mass, fat load and stopover behaviour of the Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus at Manyas Kusçenneti National Park (NW Turkey). Ring 29: 67-89.

Fiedler W. 1998. Trends in ringing numbers of Redstarts (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) and Wrynecks (Jynx torquilla) in Southern Germany. Die Vogelwarte 39: 233-241. (in German).

Ginn H. B., Melville D. S. (eds). 1983. Moult in birds British Trust for Ornithology, Tring, Herts (UK).

Goriup P., Baboianu G., Cherichko J. 2007. The Danube Delta: Europe’s remarkable wetland. British Birds 100: 194-213.

Hanski J.K., Tiainen J. 1991. Morphological variation in sympatric and allopatric populations of European Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs. Ornis Fennica 68: 1-16.

Heath M.F., Evans M.I., Hoccom D.G., Payne A.J., Peet N.B. (Eds). 2000. Important Bird areas in Europe: priority sites for conservation. Birdlife International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Hüppop K., Hüppop O. 2004. An atlas of bird ringing at the island of Helgoland. Part 2: Phenology in the trapping garden from 1961 to 2000. Vogelwarte 42: 285-343. (in German).

Ion C. 2009. Passerines Migration along the Habitats from the Danube Delta Biosphere Reservation. Analele Stiintifice ale Universitatii “Al.I. Cuza” Iasi, s. Biologie animala LV: 173-185.

Ion P., Viorel P. 2005. The Composition of the Avifauna on the Lupilo Ground in the Migratory Period. Analele Stiintifice ale Universitatii “Al.I. Cuza” Iasi, s. Biologie animala LI: 205-216.

IUCN, UNEP 2014. World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). accessed 28 June 2014.

Jenni L. 1984. Pattern of autumn migration, based on bird caught at Col de Bretolet, with special reference to premigration movements. Ornithologische Beobachter 81: 183-213. (in German).

Jenni L., Kéry M. 2003. Timing of autumn bird migration under climate change: advances in long-distance migrants, delays in short-distance migrants. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B. 270: 1467-1471.

Jenni L., Naef-Daenzer B. 1986. Frequencies of migrating birds caught on an alpine pass in comparison with numbers of breeding birds in the area of origin. Ornithologische Beobachter 83: 95-110. (in German).

Jenni L., Winkler R. (eds). 1994. Moult and ageing of European passerines. Academic Press, London.

Kaiser A. 1993. A New Multi-Category Classification of Subcutaneous Fat Deposits of Songbirds. Journal of Field Ornithology 64: 246-255.

Kalocsa B., Tamas E.A., Marinov E.M. 2007. Preliminary evaluation of the data gathered during bird ringing at the Grindul Lupilor Ornithological Monitoring Centre, in August 2004, 2005 and 2006. Scientific Annals of the Danube Delta Institute for Research and Development (DDNI) 13: 35-44.

Kalocsa B., Tamas E.A., Reed M.,Marinov E.M. 2010. Evaluation of bird ringing data at the Grindul Lupilor Ornithological Monitoring Centre from 2004 to 2009. Scientific Annals of the Danube Delta Institute for Research and Development (DDNI) 16: 7-18.

Liechti F., Peter D., Lardelli R., Bruderer B. 1996. The Alps, an obstacle for nocturnal broad front migration - a survey based on moon-watching. Journal of Ornithology 137: 337-356. (in German).

Maumary L., Vallotton L., Knaus P. (eds). 2007. Les oiseaux de Suisse. Station ornithologique Suisse et Nos Oiseaux, Montmollin. (in French).

Newton I. 2008. The Migration ecology of Birds. Elsevier, Cambridge, UK.

Nowakowski J.K., Chruoeciel J. 2004. Speed of autumn migration of the Blue Tit Parus caeruleus along the eastern and southern Baltic coast. Ring 26: 3-12.

Nowakowski J.K., Vahatalo A.V. 2003. Is the Great Tit Parus major an irruptive migrant in Northeast Europe? Ardea 91: 231-243.

Schaub M., Jenni L. 2000. Fuel deposition of three passerine bird species along the migration route. Oecologia 122: 306-317.

Schaub M., Liechti F., Jenni L. 2004. Departure of migrating European robins Erithacus rubecula from a stopover site in relation to wind and rain. Animal Behaviour 67: 229-237.

Schmitz M. 1998. Regular spring passage of Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola along the western Balck Sea coast. Die Vogelwelt 6: 323-327. (in German).

Schmitz M., Legge H. 2003. Notes on the spring migration and breeding distribution of some passerine species in the Razim-Sinoie lagoon system and the Romanian Dobrogea. Limicola 17: 49-76. (in German).

Schmitz M., Leggge H., Sudfeldt C. 2001. Spring migration and breeding of waders and waterbirds in the Razim-Sinole lagoon system, E-Romania. Vogelwelt 22: 295-328. (in German).

Sokolov L., Markovets M., Morozov Y. 1999. Long-term dynamics of the mean date of autumn migration in passerines on the Courish Spit of the Baltic Sea. Avian Ecology and Behaviour 2: 1-18.

Spina F., Volponi S. (Eds). 2009. Italian Bird Migration Atlas. Vol. 2: Passeriform. ISPRA - MATTM, Roma. (in Italian).

Stöcker B. 1998. Zusammenarbeit in der Beringung von Zugvögeln: Internationales Beringungscamp in Histria. Der Falke 45: 140-143.

Svensson L. 1992. Identification Guide to European Passerines. BTO, Stockholm.

Tamas P., Peter L.P. 1998. The 1996 and 1997 Grindul Chituc Ornithological Camps. Milvus 98: 24-26.

Thorup K. 2004. Reverse migration as a cause of vagrancy: Capsule Reverse migration in autumn does not occur to the same degree in all species of migrants, but is related to migratory direction. Bird Study 51: 228-238.

Tiainen J., Hanski J.K. 1985. Wing shape variation of Finnish and central European Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus and Chiffchaffs Ph. collybita. Ibis 127: 365-371.

Wernham C., Toms M.P., Marchant J. H., Clark J.A., Siriwardena G.M., Baillie S.R. (eds). 2002. The migration atlas movements of the birds of Britain and Ireland. T & A D Poyser, London.

Zehtindjiev P., Ilieva M., Bogdanova M.I. 2010. Temporal Dynamics of Passerine Bird Migration in the Eastern Part of the Balkan Peninsula. Ardeola 57: 375-386.

Zehtindjiev P., Liechti F. 2003. A quantitative estimate of the spatial and temporal distribution of nocturnal bird migration in south-eastern Europe - a coordinated moon-watching study. Avian Science 3: 37-45.

The Ring

The Journal of Polish Zoological Society and Bird Migration Research Foundation

Journal Information


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 129 129 10
PDF Downloads 94 94 16