SEEN - SE European Bird Migration Network
SE flyway in the European Robin migration system - some new arguments

Agnieszka Ożarowska

Bird Migration Research Station, University of Gdańsk, Poland

Many studies based on orientation cage tests’ analyses proved that these results reflected migration directions of the analysed species. But it can also be shown that a method of studying directional preferences of migrants based on new, theoretical principles (multimodal behaviour of birds tested in orientation cages) with a use of a technique proposed by Busse (1995) that has allowed a researcher to collect large data sets in the natural conditions, is not only in accordance with current knowledge but also brings in some new data on the flyways’ course. These results could support some hypothesis and clearly indicate importance of the routes that were thought as less important in the Palaearctic bird migration system.
An example of the Robin Erithacus rubecula can be given. This is a species for which a complex migration model within the Baltic Sea region based on a recovery analysis was proposed by Remisiewicz (2002), as well as there are some data of orientation tests conducted in this region available. Let’s focus on the wintering ground called „Balkan”. We will find that information on Robins migrating along the route that leads to these wintering quarters is very scarce and based on a very low number of recoveries, thus the researchers indicate this flyway as a hypothetical. Now if we add the results of directional preferences of Robins tested at Bukowo ringing station (54°28'N 16°25'E, Baltic coast, Poland) during their autumn migration, we will find strong support for their thesis. Moreover for the year 2002 there are data available for both Polish station (N = 277) during autumn migration of the species, as well as for spring migration at Jordanian ringing station – Dhleil (N = 22). The results indicate that Robins tested in Jordan migrate along the SE flyway and most probably they come from European continent.

Created by Pronetix 2006