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

Open access

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.

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