Exploratory analyses of migration timing and morphometrics of the Thrush Nightingale (Luscinia luscinia)

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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.

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