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  • Author: Gergő Halmo x
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Based on the Hungarian common bird monitoring scheme (MMM), which is the longest running country-wide monitoring using formal sampling design with representative data for the main habitats in Central-Eastern Europe, we investigated the population trends of common breeding and wintering species. Habitat preference and occupancy of the common breeders, migration strategies and relationships among these characteristics could act behind the population trends. We pointed out that long distance migrant bird species had strong decreasing trends in Hungary and very probably in the entire Pannonian biogeographical region, whereas the partial and short migrant species has increasing trends. Farmland birds had declining trend, which trend became more obvious since the joining of Hungary to the EU. The negative changes in the farmland habitat could influence bird species nesting/foraging mainly in this habitat independently from their migration strategies. Our investigations let us to develop indicators on the basis of migration strategy and habitat usage of common birds to provide regular information about condition of groups of species and their habitats in Hungary and the Pannonian region. The MMM database provide unique opportunity for further investigations of several species, habitats and area specific in a part of Europe where this kind of information is rare yet.


The Hoopoe is a widespread species in Hungary with the strongest populations on the Great plains. The fact that in 2015 it became ‛The Bird of the Year’ in Hungary offers the possibility to summarise the information about the distribution, population size, dispersion, migration as well as the nature conservation status of the Hoopoe population breeding in Hungary. In the period of 1999–2014 the number of breeding pairs and trend of population level was estimated based on the Common Bird Census database. The population size was estimated as 13,500–17,500 pairs with a stable trend (slope=−1.3%, SE=2.5%) over 1999–2014. There is very limited information on migration from bird ringing, only 8 recoveries between 1928–1963 indicate, that the Hungarian population is migrating on a south-southeast direction in autumn, wintering in the eastern parts of the Sahel, possibly in Chad and Sudan and migrates back in spring following a loop migration pattern further to the east. The main conservation issues are agricultural intensification impacting feeding possibilities, lack of nesting cavities and hunting during migration.