SEEN - SE European Bird Migration Network
Orientation cage tests: application in bird migration studies
Agnieszka Ożarowska, Krzysztof Muś
Bird Migration Research Station, University of Gdańsk, al. Marszałka Józefa Piłsudskiego 46, 81-378 Gdynia, Poland
e-mail: bioat@univ.gda.pl; k.mus@univ.gda.pl


Orientation cage tests used as a method of studying nocturnal migrants’ direction preferences enable to get good estimation of migration directions showed by tested individuals and allow the study of population-specific differentiation with respect to migratory directions (Helbig 1992). After one migration season we could present migration directions’ pattern of small Passerines at a given site. That is really very short compared to ringing recovery analyses that require at least a decade of regular bird ringing during migration seasons. Moreover the results are not biased by uneven recovery probability as in the case of ringing data. The results obtained with this method not only support knowledge on bird migration systems but most of all give new information on the regions not well studied by now. Based on the analysis of orientation cage data we could propose species/population migration pattern at both large and local geographical scale, study species/population migration strategies, track the flyways as well as observe behaviour of migrants facing the barriers.
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