SEEN - SE European Bird Migration Network
Bird ringing on the Antikythira island (South Greece)

Maria Dimaki1,2, Clairie Papazoglou1, Triantaphyllos Akriotis3

1 Hellenic Ornithological Society, Athens, Greece
2 Address for correspondence: Goulandris Natural History Museum, Kifissia, Greece
3 Hellenic Bird Ringing Centre, Athens, Greece

During 1998–2004 we ringed birds on the Antikythira island, south Greece. Antikythira (35°51’N 23°18’E) is a small island located south of the Peloponnese, between the islands of Kythira and Crete. The island is a very important stopover site for bird migration. Most autumn migrants move across Greece from early or mid August to late October or early November, whereas return movements start mainly from mid March and last up to mid May.
Οver a course of 118 days, with the help of 39 volunteers, we caught a total of 9455 birds belonging to 73 different species. On our best day we ringed 441 birds in the spring of 2002. In the spring of 2004 we obtained the maximum number of bird species which was 52 species and the maximum of number of birds that was 2886 in a period of 25 days. The commonest birds that were ringed were: Garden Warbler Sylvia borin (2035 ind.), Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca (896), Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix (717), Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus (592), Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata (564), and Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus (402).
During these ringing sessions we had six controls and recoveries. We had three controls on Antikythira and three of the birds we had ringed there were found in other places (one control and two recoveries).
The birds were caught using mist-nets during nine netting and ringing sessions between April 1998 and September/October 2004. The nets were set in the following habitats: (a) olive groves, (b) maquis vegetation, (c) tall trees (figs and almond trees) with some reeds, and (d) cultivated land.
The presence of some species is noteworthy, like the Green Warbler Phylloscopus nitidus in the autumn of 1998 which was the first record of this species in Greece, the Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus that was ringed in the spring of 2004, and the Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus in the autumn of 2004.

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