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  • Author: Zsolt Karcza x
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Exploratory analyses of migration timing and morphometrics of the Thrush Nightingale (Luscinia luscinia)

Abstract

Ornithological studies often rely on long-term bird ringing data sets as sources of information. However, basic descriptive statistics of raw data are rarely provided. In order to fill this gap, here we present the seventh item of a series of exploratory analyses of migration timing and body size measurements of the most frequent Passerine species at a ringing station located in Central Hungary (1984–2017). First, we give a concise description of foreign ring recoveries of the Thrush Nightingale in relation to Hungary. We then shift focus to data of 1138 ringed and 547 recaptured individuals with 1557 recaptures (several years recaptures in 76 individuals) derived from the ringing station, where birds have been trapped, handled and ringed with standardized methodology since 1984. Timing is described through annual and daily capture and recapture frequencies and their descriptive statistics. We show annual mean arrival dates within the study period and present the cumulative distributions of first captures with stopover durations. We present the distributions of wing, third primary, tail length and body mass, and the annual means of these variables. Furthermore, we show the distributions of individual fat and muscle scores, and the distributions of body mass within each fat score category. We present data only for the autumn migratory period since there were only 27 spring captures in the study period. We distinguish the age groups (i.e. juveniles and adults) in the analyses. Our aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of the analysed variables. However, we do not aim to interpret the obtained results, merely to draw attention to interesting patterns that may be worth exploring in detail. Data used here are available upon request for further analyses.

Open access
Breeding, dispersal, migration and conservation of the Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) in Hungary

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.

Open access
Birds as disseminators of ixodid ticks and tick-borne pathogens: note on the relevance to migratory routes

Absract

It has been a long studied issue, that birds are frequently infested with ixodid ticks, and consequently play a significant role in disseminating tick-borne pathogens (especially during their seasonal migration) and influence the epidemiology of relevant diseases. In connection with the first Hungarian molecular epidemiological survey on this topic the authors would like to note, that a new, ornithological aspect of similar researches may deserve future attention. Ticks removed from mid- and long-distance migratory birds and the tick-borne pathogens they may contain can be molecularly identified (i.e. with sequencing certain genes), and their sequences could be compared with others internationally available (deposited in the GenBank). This may provide clues for determining the place or country where the bird most likely acquired its tick-infestation, and thus for the probable route of seasonal migration.

Open access
Exploratory analyses ofmigration timing andmorphometrics of the Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)

Abstract

Ornithological studies often rely on long-term bird ringing data sets as sources of information. However, basic descriptive statistics of raw data are rarely provided. In order to fill this gap, here we present the third item of a series of exploratory analyses of migration timing and body size measurements of the most frequent Passerine species at a ringing station located in Central Hungary (1984-2016). First, we give a concise description of foreign ring recoveries of the Song Thrush in relation to Hungary. We then shift focus to data of 4137 ringed individuals and 1051 recaptures derived from the ringing station, where birds have been trapped, handled and ringed with standardized methodology since 1984. Timing is described through annual and daily capture and recapture frequencies and their descriptive statistics. We show annual mean arrival dates within the study period and present the cumulative distributions of first captures with stopover durations. We present the distributions of wing, third primary, tail length and body mass, and the annual means of these variables. Furthermore, we show the distributions of individual fat and muscle scores, and the distributions of body mass within each fat score category. We distinguish the spring and autumn migratory periods, breeding and wintering seasons, and age groups (i.e. juveniles and adults). Our aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of the analysed variables. However, we do not aim to interpret the obtained results, merely to draw attention to interesting patterns that may be worth exploring in detail. Data used here are available upon request for further analyses.

Open access
Exploratory analyses ofmigration timing andmorphometrics of the Common Blackbird (Turdus merula)

Abstract

Ornithological studies often rely on long-term bird ringing data sets as sources of information. However, basic descriptive statistics of raw data are rarely provided. In order to fill this gap, here we present the fourth item of a series of exploratory analyses of migration timing and body size measurements of the most frequent Passerine species at a ringing station located in Central Hungary (1984-2016). First, we give a concise description of foreign ring recoveries of the Common Blackbird in relation to Hungary. We then shift focus to data of 6849 ringed individuals and 6081 recaptures derived from the ringing station, where birds have been trapped, handled and ringed with standardized methodology since 1984. Timing is described through annual and daily capture and recapture frequencies and their descriptive statistics. We show annual mean arrival dates within the study period and present the cumulative distributions of first captures with stopover durations. We present the distributions of wing, third primary, tail length and body mass, and the annual means of these variables. Furthermore, we show the distributions of individual fat and muscle scores, and the distributions of body mass within each fat score category. We distinguish the spring and autumn migratory periods, breeding and wintering seasons, ages (i.e. juveniles and adults) and the two sexes. Our aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of the analysed variables. However, we do not aim to interpret the obtained results, merely to draw attention to interesting patterns that may be worth exploring in detail. Data used here are available upon request for further analyses.

Open access
Exploratory analyses of migration timing and morphometrics of the Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)

Abstract

Ornithological studies often rely on long-term bird ringing data sets as sources of information. However, basic descriptive statistics of raw data are rarely provided. In order to fill this gap, here we present the fifth item of a series of exploratory analyses of migration timing and body size measurements of the most frequent Passerine species at a ringing station located in Central Hungary (1984–2016). First, we give a concise description of foreign ring recoveries of the Common Nightingale in relation to Hungary. We then shift focus to data of 3892 ringed and 1499 recaptured individuals derived from the ringing station, where birds have been trapped, handled and ringed with standardized methodology since 1984. Timing is described through annual and daily capture and recapture frequencies and their descriptive statistics. We show annual mean arrival dates within the study period and present the cumulative distributions of first captures with stopover durations. We present the distributions of wing, third primary, tail length and body mass, and the annual means of these variables. Furthermore, we show the distributions of individual fat and muscle scores, and the distributions of body mass within each fat score category. We distinguish the spring and autumn migratory periods and breeding season and age groups (i.e. juveniles and adults). Our aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of the analysed variables. However, we do not aim to interpret the obtained results, merely to draw attention to interesting patterns that may be worth exploring in detail. Data used here are available upon request for further analyses.

Open access
The status of the Hoopoe (Upupa epops) in Hungary: a review

Abstract

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.

Open access
Exploratory analyses ofmigration timing andmorphometrics of the European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

Abstract

Ornithological studies often rely on long-term bird ringing data sets as sources of information. However, basic descriptive statistics of raw data are rarely provided. In order to fill this gap, here we present the sixth item of a series of exploratory analyses of migration timing and body size measurements of the most frequent passerine species at a ringing station located in Central Hungary (1984–2017). First, we give a concise description of foreign ring recoveries of the European Robin in relation to Hungary. We then shift focus to data of 40,128 ringed and 11,231 recaptured individuals with 24,056 recaptures (several years recaptures in 313 individuals) derived from the ringing station, where birds have been trapped, handled and ringed with standardized methodology since 1984. Timing is described through annual and daily capture and recapture frequencies and their descriptive statistics. We show annual mean arrival dates within the study period and present the cumulative distributions of first captures with stopover durations. We present the distributions of wing, third primary, tail length and body mass, and the annual means of these variables. Furthermore, we show the distributions of individual fat and muscle scores, and the distributions of body mass within each fat score category.We distinguish the spring and autumn migratory periods and age groups (i.e. juveniles and adults). Our aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of the analysed variables. However, we do not aim to interpret the obtained results, merely to draw attention to interesting patterns that may be worth exploring in detail. Data used here are available upon request for further analyses.

Open access
European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster Linnaeus, 1758) in Hungary: a review

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).

Open access
Exploratory analyses of migration timing and morphometrics of the Dunnock (Prunella modularis)

Abstract

Ornithological studies often rely on large temporal scale ringing datasets as source of information. However, basic descriptive statistics of collected data are rarely provided. In order to fill this gap, here we present the second item of a series of exploratory analyses of migration timing and body size measurements of the most frequent Passerine species at a ringing station located in Central Hungary (1984–2015). First, we give a concise description of foreign ring recoveries of the Dunnock in relation to Hungary. We then shift focus to data of 11,617 individuals deriving from the ringing station, where birds have been trapped, handled and ringed with standardized methodology since 1984. Timing is described through annual and daily capture and recapture frequencies and their descriptive statistics. We show annual mean arrival dates within the study period and we present the cumulative distribution of first captures with stopover durations. We present the distributions of wing, third primary, tail length and body mass, and the annual means of these variables. Furthermore, we show the distribution of individual fat and muscle scores, and the distribution of body mass within each fat score category. We distinguish migration periods (spring and autumn), and age groups (i.e. juveniles and adults). Our aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of the analysed variables. However, we do not aim to interpret the obtained results, merely draw attention to interesting patterns, that may be worth exploring in detail. Data used here are available upon request for further analyses.

Open access