Assessment of the breeding and wintering sites of Eurasian Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) occurring in Hungary based on ringing recovery data

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Abstract

Using the latest dataset of the Hungarian Bird Ringing Centre, the aims of this study were to describe the monthly spatial pattern of woodcock occurrence and to assess the main wintering and breeding areas of the birds associated with Hungary in the last decade. Descriptive analyses were performed regarding the annual number of detections (ringing, recaptures and recoveries), and the relation between the annual number of woodcock ringers and the number of ringed birds was tested. Minimum convex polygons (MCP) were calculated for the detections of each month, and the variation of the monthly MCP size was evaluated. Distances of all detection locations were measured from the geographical central point of Hungary, and the distributions of these distances were compared among the months. The annual number of ringed birds increased, however it was not in relation with the number of people involved in ringing. The rate of recoveries was 7.5%. Two types of the reco very circumstances were registered: 89.9% by hunting, 10.1% found dead. MCPs were calculated for eight months. Each MCP overlapped with Hungary, to varying degrees, however remarkable differences were found in the MCP sizes among the different months. The largest areas were covered in December, January and February, while the areas in September and October were less than half of that size. The shortest distances to the country were registered in March, April, October, and November. Moderate distances were recorded in May and September, and the longest distances were found in December, January and February. Large amount of data is available about the wintering areas, and a wide wintering zone can be estimated. In contrast, there is no or only very little information about the areas covered in summer.

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