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  • Author: Csaba Pigniczki x
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Abstract

Between 1950 and 2016, 254 individuals of Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) of foreign origin were observed during their dispersal or migration in Hungary from eight countries. Colour-ringed birds originating from Serbia, Croatia and the Czech Republic were the most commonly observed, while individuals from Italy, the Danube Delta (Romania) and the Wadden Sea area (Denmark and The Netherlands) were observed rarely in Hungary. Only metal ringed Spoonbills were recovered from Austria. All age-classes were found in Hungary: juveniles were the most common, while 2cy immatures formed the rarest class. Adults from the Wadden Sea area, and also from the Danube Delta were observed in Hungary during the breeding season, implying potential gene flow between those areas and the Carpathian Basin. My results predict that the breeding population of the Carpathian Basin forms a unique subunit of a metapopulation which is in close contact with the Czech population. The nesting of adults of Serbian and Croatian origin was confirmed in Hungary. Two prospecting subadults (4cy) were observed in Hungarian colonies, one was from Serbia, and the other was from Italy. One adult (5cy) occurred in several Hungarian wetlands in a short period before breeding, which probably explored habitats for breeding or for feeding. Spoonbills of Czech, Serbian, Croatian and Italian origin observed in Hungary used the Central Mediterranean or the Adriatic Flyway. Individuals from the East Atlantic population arrived to Hungary by shifting their migration routes. One bird from the Danube Delta wintered in Tunisia, where it probably joined Hungarian breeders and reached Hungary with them. Adults and juveniles from the Czech Republic used the wetlands around Lake Neusiedler as a stop-over and staging area during autumn migration. My results suggest that Hungarian wetlands play an important role in the movements and breeding of Spoonbills in Central Europe, thus, the management and conservation of these wetlands are essential for the future.

Abstract

The literature on bird collision with power lines in Hungary is rather limited. We collected published records and carried out research on birds that collided with overhead wires, and we made a list of species, and the number of individuals recorded, around Pusztaszer Landscape Protection Area. The quality of data did not allow us to do robust statistical tests, and a large amount of collected data was not used in this paper, because of uncertainty. Finally, we used the records of 519 individuals of 63 species that got injured or died during collision with overhead wires. We found evidence, that low-, middle- and high-voltage power lines were all responsible for the collision accidents of birds. Birds that use wetlands or both wetlands and farmlands are the most threatened to collide with overhead electric wires. Most victims of collision accidents belong to Gruiformes, Charadriiformes, Pelecaniformes and Anseriformes orders. Our preliminary results suggest that the bigger the rate of weight and wingspan (wing-loading proxy) is, the greater the risk of birds colliding with power lines, probably because of poor manoeuvrability. Birds that move regularly, on a daily basis between their nests/roost sites and foraging areas are at higher risk to collide with electric wires. Our preliminary results do not support the hypothesis that birds which sit on power lines collide more frequently than birds that do not use wires. It seems that foggy weather circumstances increase the probability of collision events particularly in case of Common Cranes. Some large birds were found with burnt feathers after collision with middle-voltage power lines. A sizeable part of collided birds were protected or strictly protected. Bird collision with overhead wires is a serious problem in Hungary. Collision can be stopped on most dangerous part of overhead wires by converting to underground cabling. It is possible to reduce the number of collision events in case of high-voltage power lines by increasing their visibility. We always recommend underground cabling in case of wetlands, if new segments of electric wires would be carried out.

Abstract

The Black-winged Stilt was the bird of the year in Hungary in 2019. The population of the species increased from 20–25 breeding pairs to 550–680 pairs from 1980s to the present. 75–85% of the Hungarian population bred on effluent pools for pigs and settling pools at sugar beet factories in the first half of 1990s. There were significantly more breeding pairs in Hungary in 1999 compared to previous years, and finally 871 breeding pairs of Black-winged Stilts were documented in 2000 and the Hungarian population was estimated at 940–960 pairs. There were 550–680 breeding pairs in Hungary between 2015 and 2017. Significantly more clutches had more than five eggs in the sampled colonies during the influx in 2000 than in the egg collections before 1971 or in the sampled colony in 2008 as well. First arrivals reached Hungary between 5 and 20 March (median: 15 March) between 2005 and 2019. These arrival dates fall approximately a month earlier than the former arrival dates in mid-April during the 1980s. 470 Black-winged Stilts were observed in a single flock during post-breeding dispersal, this flock was the largest ever documented in Hungary. Stilts left Hungary by the first half of September in the 1980s, and in contrast, they left Hungary between 27 August and 4 January (median: 19 October) between 2005 and 2019. Recently, the most departure dates fall one and a half to three months later compared to the departure dates in the 1980s. Black-winged Stilts marked in Hungary disperse in the Carpathian Basin during their post-fledging/post-breeding dispersal. Based on ring readings of two individuals, they start to migrate southwest with stopover sites in Italy, but their wintering areas are unknown. Stilts hatched in Portugal (one individual) and France (two individuals) bred in Hungary during the large influxes in 1999 and 2000. Five Black-winged Stilts hatched in Italy were observed later in Hungary and are supposed to be breeders in Hungary in most cases. Furthermore, one individual captured as an adult in Spain and two trapped in Italy were observed in Hungary. The Hungarian population of Black-winged Stilt is threatened by predation on eggs and chicks, drainage of wetlands, and also by human-induced flooding of artificial wetlands (e.g. fishponds). Stilts regularly occupy artificial breeding islands the first years after habitat restoration. The Hungarian population of Black-winged Stilts is increasing due to habitat management with grazing animals, especially with Mangalica ‘Woolly’ Pigs and Water Buffalos.

Abstract

Understanding the migration routes of the Central European Spoonbill population is important for their conservation. Here we analysed movements of 3186 individuals of Eurasian Spoonbills marked with colour rings in the Carpathian Basin (Hungary, Croatia and Serbia) between 2003 and 2015, and a satellite tagged individual, which was equipped in Italy in 2013, and later moved to the Carpathian Basin. Migration routes of these Spoonbills predominantly followed the Adriatic Flyway, however, some birds were also found to both east and west from this flyway. We identified 59 stopover sites, 55 of which were located along the Adriatic Flyway. Colourringed juveniles (1cy), on average, spent 4.0±0.9 (SE) days on the stopover sites along the Adriatic Flyway during autumn migration, while non-juveniles (> 1cy) spent 2.6±1.0 (SE) days during autumn and 2.1±0.4 (SE) days during spring migration there. These durations were not significantly different. Duration of stops of the satellite tracked individual was between 7 and 15 days during autumn and between 1 and 12 days during spring migration. Our results indicate the existence of two alternative routes of the Adriatic Flyway between the Carpathian Basin and the wintering areas in southern Italy and the central part of coastal North-Africa. The North-Adriatic Flyway includes stopover sites in north-eastern Italy at the river mouth of River Isonzo, Lagunes of Venice and wetlands around River Po. The South Adriatic Flyway leads through the Balkan Peninsula, with stopover sites at the karst lakes of Bosnia and Herzegovina, mouth of the river Neretva (Croatia), Ulcinj Salinas (Montenegro) and wetlands in Gulf of Manfredonia (Italy). This hypothesis was also supported by the migration of the satellite tagged individual, the paths of which was described here in detail. The average coordinates of spring and autumn stopover sites were located at different parts of the flyway: it was in south-western Italy during autumn migration, while it was close to the western coast of the Balkan Peninsula during spring migration. We found examples for Spoonbills using the same migration paths along the same route year by year on both spring and autumn migration, but also noticed shifts between routes. Some observations indicate that individuals may show site fidelity to stopover sites between years, although the sample size was low for statistical significance.