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József Gyurácz, József Góczán, Péter Bánhidi and Ágnes Lepold

Autumn migration of the Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) in western Hungary

At a site in Tömörd (W Hungary) in 2000-2001, numbers of Goldcrests peaked on the last days of October and the first days of November (24 Oct. - 10 Nov.). Migration of both sexes was somewhat differentiated - females migrated a little bit earlier than males. Goldcrests arriving in the peak migration periods stored significantly more fat than individuals ringed in the other periods (ANOVA: F4,305 = 28.6, p < 0.0001). The spatial occurrence of migrating Goldcrests revealed clumped distribution - 83% of the total captures took place in a dense scrubland, 17% in a grassland overgrown by bushes. During the migration there were more males - the average sex ratio in Tömörd was 1.61 : 1. These results are discussed in relation to the species' migration strategies and patterns of occurrence in northern Europe.

Open access

József Gyurácz, Sándor Kalmár and Réka Baráth

Abstract

The local abundance and spatial distribution of the short- to medium-distance migratory and daytime stopover passerines (Robin Erithacus rubecula, Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla, Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita, Blue tit Parus caeruleus, Great tit P. major) were studied in a West Hungarian stopover ground during post-breeding season. The dispergation index of all migratory bird species revealed clumped distribution both in „smallest annual capture year” (abb. SACY) and the „largest annual capture year” (abb. LACY). According to the PCA the spatial occurrences of Blackcap, Blue tit and Great tit captured in LACY showed significantly higher concentration than of those migrating in SACY. The studied species appeared in all four habitats (bushy, forest, grassland, marsh) of the study stopover area, but their clumped spatial distribution showed habitat preference. The abundance-dependent shift of habitat selection was found only in Great tit, the most of them captured in SACY concentrated in grassland with bushy, while the ones captured in LACY grouped in forest habitat type. Blackcaps were grouped the grassland with bushes habitat type where many Dwarf elder (Sambucus ebulus) bushes were available during autumn migration.

Open access

József Gyurácz, Gábor Horváth, Tibor Csörgõ, László Bank and Sándor Palkó

Influence of macrosynoptic weather situation on the autumn migration of birds in Hungary

In the study we have examined the relation between the European macrosynoptic weather situation and the number of birds captured a day at four Hungarian ringing stations during the autumn migration. Along the research we examined the data of 32 809 individuals of 8 species using different migration strategies. Using the daily capture data at the four stations we constructed the migration diagrams for each year. We chose the migration peak days within ten-day periods and examined how these peak days or their preceding days are distributed over Péczely's macrosynoptic weather situations. Comparing the 8 bird species no significant difference in distribution of the peak days over the macrosynoptic weather situations was found (ANOVA: F7,376 = 1.81, p = 0.084). 85% of the migration peak days for all the species were connected with anticyclones, 10% with meridional cyclone / cold front situation and 5% with other cyclonic ones. The most frequent weather situation on the migration peak days was central anticyclone, which occurred in 61 cases.

Open access

József Gyurácz, Péter Bánhidi, József Góczán, Péter Illés, Sándor Kalmár, Péter Koszorús, Zoltán Lukács, Csaba Németh and László Varga

Abstract

The fieldwork, i.e. catching and ringing birds using mist-nets, was conducted at Tömörd Bird Ringing Station in western Hungary during the post-breeding migration seasons in 1998-2016. Altogether, 106,480 individuals of 133 species were ringed at the station. The aim of this paper was to publish basic information on passerine migration at this site. Migration phenology was described through annual and daily capture frequencies. Furthermore, we provide the median date of the passage, the date of the earliest or latest capture, the peak migration season within the study period, and the countries where the birds monitored at the site were ringed or recovered abroad. To compare the catching dynamics for the fifty species with total captures greater than 200, a reference period was defined: from 5 Aug. to 5 Nov. 2001-2016. Some non-passerines that are more easily caught with mist-nets or that are caught occasionally were listed as well. The two superdominant species, the European Robin and the Eurasian Blackcap, with 14,377 and 13,926 total captures, made up 27% of all ringed individuals. Among the fifty species analysed, there were ten species with a decreasing trend, five species with an increasing trend and thirty-five species with a stable (or uncertain) trend in their numbers from 2001 to 2016. The temporal pattern of migration of long-distance migrants was different from that of the medium- and short-distance migratory species.

Open access

József Gyurácz, Károly Nagy, Tibor István Fuisz, Zsolt Karcza and Tibor Szép

Abstract

The European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster Linnaeus, 1758) is known as ‛beekeeper bird’ and an effective ecosystem engineer species. The fact that in 2013 it became ‛The Bird of the Year’ in Hungary offers the possibility to summarise the information about the distribution, population size, breeding and feeding ecology, dispersion, migration, intra- and interspecific relationships as well as the nature conservation status of the bee-eater population breeding in Hungary. Though this review focuses on the Hungarian population trends, but also summarises the major research results from other countries. In the period of 1992-2013, the number of breeding pairs were surveyed in 5897 2.5×2.5 km UTM squares in the frame of the Monitoring of Rare and Colonial Breeding Birds programme. In the surveyed area during the period of 1992-2013, the most accurate estimate suggests a 10600-19600 breeding pair population. The larger nesting colonies were observed in the following regions: Zala Hills, Outer Somogy, Gerecse, Velencei Hills, Mezőföld, Gödöllő Hills, Tápió, Bükkalja, Taktaköz, Körös region. The annual population indices showed marked fluctuation with stable long term population trend in Hungary. The national monitoring and protection project of the European Bee-eater revealed the most important factors endangering the nesting populations, these are weed invasion and the collapse of vertical banks, mining carried out in the nesting period and direct human-caused disturbance (e.g. shooting, tourism).