SEEN - SE European Bird Migration Network
A study on morphological analyses of Motacilla flava (Linnaeus, 1758) populations which migrate from Kizilirmak Delta
Gursoy A.1, Kefelioglu H.1, Baris, Y.S.2
1 University of Ondokuz Mayis Art & Science Faculty, Biology Department, Samsun Turkey
2 University of Ondokuz Mayis Ornithological Research Center, Samsun Turkey

There are a number of different races of the Yellow Wagtail (M. flava) that occur across the western Palearctic. The variations of the Yellow Wagtail (M. flava) present a very difficult problem and have been the subject of many papers. Main objectives of this study were          (1) determination of morphological differences among M. flava subspecies by analyzing measurements (2) to make clear the taxonomy of M. flava subspecies (3) finding out the geographic variations at migration season at Kizilirmak Delta.

The study was carried out at Kizilirmak Delta which is a major wetland complex on the Black Sea coast. The delta has a very rich biodiversity and critical habitat for globally endangered bird species, and was announced as an RAMSAR protection site in Turkey.

This study was conducted between 4 April - 3 May 2004, 27 March - 3 May 2005, 19 - 21 April 2006 and 1 April - 1 May 2007 at wild life protection area of Cernek Lake in K?z?l?rmak Delta during spring season. A total of 980 M. flava individuals were caught and ringed in four year field work. Eight taxa were identified; these are M. f. beema, M. f. dombrowskii, M. f. feldegg, M. f. flava, M. f. lutea, M. f. melanogrisea, M. f. superciliaris and M. f. thunbergi, respectively.

Statistical evaluations were carried out on six different biometric measurements (wing, tail, tarsus, bill, hind claw and weight) were obtained from 643 ringed male M. flava individuals. M. flava subspecies have taxonomic problems in its distribution area and it was observed that  21.5% of the individuals could belong to the true groups according to six biometric measurements and  17.7% of the individuals were placed into the correct taxa with respect to analysis on the wing-tail measurements. 
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