SEEN - SE European Bird Migration Network
A network of ringing stations in northern Spain
Alejandro Onrubia
Consultora de Recursos Naturales,S.L.
Jose María Unamuno
Urdaibai Hegaztiak
Mariano Torres
Fundación Global Nature

The Iberian Peninsula in the context of the western European migration flyway:
  • important “stepping stone” for both short and long distance migratory birds,
  • important wintering area for short-distance migrants
Aims of the ringing stations:
  • to characterize bird communities apart of other surveying tools,
  • to study stopover characteristics of migrating birds,
  • conservation interest of the places for migrating birds, specially for some endangered species: Aquatic Warbler, Reed Bunting (subsp. lusitanica)
Ringing stations location and characteristics:

  • coastal marshes,
  • active all the year around since 2002; routine: once a week all around the year and daily during migration,
  • 2.600 - 4.000 captures/year; 70-75 species
  • managed by the Basque government
  • inland wetland,
  • active since 2003; active daily during autumn migration,
  • 2.000 - 3.300 captures/summer season; 38-50 species
  • financed by the city council of Vitoria-Gasteiz
  • inland wetland,
  • active since 1999; active daily during spring and autumn migration,
  • 9.000-11.000 captures/autumn season; 70-80 species,
  • 800-1.600 captures/spring season; 38-50 species,
  • managed by the local government

More ringed species: “top ten”
  • Acrocephalus species: A.scirpaceusA.schoenobaenus, A.arundinaceus and A.paludicola
  • Sylvia species: S.borin, S.atricapilla and S.communis
  • Phylloscopus species: P.trochilus, P.collybita, P.ibericus, P.bonelli
  • Hirundinidae: Hirundo rustica, R.riparia
  • Others: Ficedula hypoleuca, Motacilla flava, Cisticola juncidis, Cettia cetti, Luscinia svecica, Hippolais polyglotta, Locustella naevia, Passer montanus, Calidris alpina, Erithacus rubecula, Fringilla coelebs, Emberiza schoeniclus, Saxicola rubetra, ...

Our objectives, programmes, studies:
  • migratory patterns,
  • phenology,
  • breeding and wintering areas and flyways,
  • distances and migration speed,
  • fidelity,
  • factors: age, sex, weather,
  • populations changes and trends
Stopover ecology: phenology; age, sex, origins; stopover duration; fattening rates; flight distances; population estimates; activity patterns; habitat use; feeding and competence; influencing factors.
Migration strategies:
  • long jumps
  • short jumps: progressive fattening; fattening just before Sahara; without fattening.
Study of moult: moult patterns; relation with annual cycle; variations and influencing factors; ageing uses.
Demography: longevity and life span; mortality and survival rates; immigration and emigration rates; age and sex ratios; breeding success; causes of mortality.
Morphometrics studies: species identification; population characterization; ageing and sexing birds; body condition and environmental stress.
Population studies:
  • population estimates: recovery rates; capture-recapture methods
  • population monitoring: capture index; trends
Bird communities studies: community structure, composition and dynamic; community parameters (richness, abundance, diversity, changing rates ...); individual scales.
Other subjects: energetic studies; feeding studies; behavioural studies; parasites and diseases (EVITAR program).
Some coordinates programs: Constant Effort Sites; Paser program; Biometry program; Calidris project; Euring Swallow
About the Aquatic Warbler...: migration strategy; stopover characteristics; habitat use (radiotracking); breeding and wintering areas (isotopic analysis); migration flyway; identification of important areas for migration of the Aquatic Warbler.
Created by Pronetix 2006