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Donostia / San Sebastián, Spain

Arizaga J.,Institute For Vogelforschung Vogelwarte Helgoland | Barba E.,University of Valencia | Alonso D.,Oficina de Anillamiento de Aranzadi | Vilches A.,Oficina de Anillamiento de Aranzadi | Vilches A.,University of Navarra
Ardeola | Year: 2010

Fuel management and stopover duration are parameters of great interest for the understanding of bird migration strategies. Our aim was to study the stopover of bluethroats Luscinia svecica cyanecula in northern Iberia. Data were collected at Badina de Escudera lagoon (reedbeds), Villafranca (42° 16' N 01° 42' W), Ebro Valley. Systematic mist-netting was performed during the autumn migration period between 2003 and 2006. The timing of passage did not vary between age and sex classes, with the bulk of migrants being captured in September. The stopover duration was very long (nearly 30 days) compared to that reported from other stopover sites. Main causes explaining these results could be: (i) an atypical September with unfavourable meteorological conditions, and (ii) the interference of apparently wintering specimens. Apart from a small fraction of birds with very large fuel loads, a mean fuel load of nearly 15 % over lean mass suggests that, if a fraction of migrants stopping-over in Badina overwinter in tropical Africa, they must refuel in areas further south to gain sufficient fuel before crossing the Sahara. Conversely, we cannot rule out that these less loaded birds overwintered within the circum-Mediterranean region. Adults were more fuel loaded than juveniles, but this was not due to a higher fuel deposition rate (mean 0.08 g/day). Bluethroats recaptured from 6 to 10 days after the first capture showed a higher mass deposition rate than those recaptured after 10 days or more. This suggests that birds with long stopovers were not true fuelling migrants, but more probably wintering specimens with balanced energy budgets. A long initial lost of mass (5 days) agrees with both the high competition and the interference of wintering specimens hypotheses. In conclusion, Badina de Escudera, in northern Iberia, is an area used by a true, stopping-over population, as well as by apparently wintering specimens. Source

Arizaga J.,Institute of Avian Research Vogelwarte Helgoland | Herrero A.,Oficina de Anillamiento de Aranzadi | Galarza A.,Servicio de Conservacion y Espacios Naturales Protegidos | Hidalgo J.,Sociedad Ornitologica Lanius | And 3 more authors.
Waterbirds | Year: 2010

Information on when and where the Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis Iusitanius) population breeding in northern Iberia moves throughout the year is lacking. Here, distances and directions of gull movements during their first year of life were elucidated. Data on 2,776 sightings of 728 out of 2,421 gulls banded as chicks in the southeastern Bay of Biscay were analyzed. Overall, most (69.2%) gulls were found less than 50 km from their natal colonies and practically all gulls (95.9%) were found along the coast of northern Iberia, confirming the low mobility of this Yellow-legged Gull population. Distances at which gulls were found did not vary with time, suggesting that stable feeding resources exist across the area used by the population. Source

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