SEEN - SE European Bird Migration Network
A study of Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)

Monika Filar1, Karolina Adamska2
Bird Migration Research Station, University of GdaƄsk, Przebendowo, 84-210 Choczewo, Poland 1, 2

Directional preferences of the Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) migrating along the eastern migratory flyway are presented in this study. Cage experiments in the Busse?s cage were applied to analyse migrants? directional preferences. All orientation tests were performed at several ringing stations located along the South-East migration flyway in Europe (Belarus, Bulgaria, Poland), western Asia (Israel, Jordania and Turkey) and Africa (Egypt). Birds were tested during autumn migration in years 1999-2006. Totally, 2048 tests of the Chiffchaff were analysed. Although sampling at these stations was irregular and rather differentiated, general pattern of migration was elaborated. Aim of this study was to compare general pattern of the species headings at all stations mentioned above. Moreover, possible migratory routes for the Chiffchaff were investigated. Tested species has shown differentiation of directional preferences. Chiffchaff migration strategy through European continent is complicated. This was also confirmed by highly differentiated general distributions of headings shown by the species. However, when latitude and local topography were taken into consideration observed pattern became more clear. Some differences between inland and coastal stations were recorded. Preferred directions and migration pattern became clearer at those located on the coast. Moreover we also observed differences between stations located in the North and South of the eastern flyway. Pattern at the more southern stations was less dispearsed and more directed. Orientation experiments could be a valuable method to determine directional preferences of night migrants but there is a need for further intensive and regular studies on a large geographical scale.

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