SEEN - SE European Bird Migration Network
Our journal
Our journal
Our manual
Our manual
Stations map
map of stations

Photo: J. Nowakowski

Photo: P. Busse


Long Tail Tit Aegithalos caudatus Photo: D. Ożarowski

About us
Photo: J. Nowakowski

SE EUROPEAN BIRD MIGRATION NETWORK (SEEN) is an international umbrella organisation of institutions studying bird migration along the south eastern migration route that leads from Europe and western Asia to Africa.

Our objectives are to encourage research and enhance understanding of the migratory flyways; to establish a uniform methodology of bird migration data collection; to elaborate and develop new techniques of data analysis (including computer software, highly specialized statistical methods etc.); to assist in international co-operation and the exchange of information and experience relating to bird migration and finally, to promote the conservation of birds and their habitats. Our network offers support in organising bird migration research, regularly conducts training in the methodology of bird migration studies, particularly in countries where until now such studies either were not conducted at all or on a very irregular basis.

PARTICIPATION in SEEN is voluntary. Ornithological research stations, departments and laboratories of colleges, universities and other schools of higher learning, scientific and nature protection organisations, non-governmental organisations and study groups working in the field of bird migration research can become members of SEEN.

  • Encourage research and enhance understanding of the migratory flyways, to promote the conservation of birds and their habitats;
  • Encourage research of endangered species so as to help countries implement their conservation plans effectively and to fulfil the obligations of international conventions, especially the Bonn and Ramsar Conventions;
  • Assist in international co-operation and the exchange of information and experience relating to bird migration;
  • Elaborate and develop scientifically based principles for the long-term monitoring of bird migration at an international level for the conservation of migratory bird species and their habitats;
  • Establish a uniform methodology for all SEEN member institutions to increase the effectiveness of bird migration research;
  • Enable all members to attain and improve professional field methodology;
  • Help to publish and publicise the results of scientific research, especially joint-studies of SEEN members.

THERE ARE OVER 45 STATIONS WORKING WITHIN OR CO-OPERATING WITH SEEN - from Finland to South Africa and Greece to Kazakhstan.

  • migration strategies (long jumps vs. short jumps; stopover ecology; fattening strategy; obligatory vs. partial migration, etc.);
  • migratory patterns (breeding/wintering areas and flyways; migration dynamics and phenology, distances and migration speed, etc.);
  • populational differentiation of migrating birds (incl. mechanisms isolating different populations, morphological differentiation and morphometrics studies, etc.);
  • long-term monitoring of migratory bird populations.

YOUR CONTRIBUTION to the work of SEEN can range from an exchange of data, to the organisation of training schemes, and work in different international scientific programmes.

Bird populations migrating along the SE flyway abut or mix at breeding grounds in northern and central Europe with populations migrating S and SW (through Germany, Italy, France and Spain). The population dynamics of both groups influence each other to a great degree, and these influences must be taken under consideration in any Pan-European scale bird protection activities. The SW migration was studied by the ESF European-African Songbird Migration Network and is now covered by many ringing stations. In 1993, a group of ornithologists from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe studying bird migration in the Baltic region for many years established the SE Baltic Flyway network. The group started a complimentary project that could fill the gap in studies on the SE flyway and enable these two networks to monitor the entire European migration system of passerines. As the SE Baltic Flyway network developed, it was clear that other partners working along the SE flyway in these studies needed to become involved. Thus the decision was made to expand and establish the SE European Bird Migration Network (SEEN) to also involve Middle East and western Asian countries. On December 14-15, 1996, SEEN’s first workshop was held, and the Network was officially established (see: Official documents). A General Assembly oversees the functioning of SEEN, the business of the network is conducted by the Board, our headquarters are located at the Bird Migration Research Station of the University of Gdańsk in Przebendowo (Poland), and The Ring is the journal of preference for SEEN.

Since that workshop, the network has grown and now includes 46 members from 22 countries (Member stations). Our main aim is to encourage research and enhance understanding of the migratory flyways. We assist in international co-operation and the exchange of information and experiences related to bird migration. In practice, this means that our activities run along two parallel streams: the first is mainly addressed to highly experienced stations/organisations that have been working on bird migration for many years. This enables us to elaborate and develop scientifically based principles for the long-term monitoring of bird migration at an international level, and establish a uniform methodology for all SEEN member institutions (SEEN Bird Station Manual). We share a common SEEN data set, conduct several scientific projects involving many countries, and can offer as trainers a group of very experienced ringers to countries where bird migration studies have never been conducted before or occurred on a very limited scale and/or irregular basis. The second part of our work is directly focused on those countries with the least experience. Our network offers support in organising bird migration research and regularly provides training in the methodology of bird migration studies. The results of our activities include several new ringing stations working regularly during both the spring and autumn bird migration in Egypt, Jordan and Turkey. These stations are run by local ringers that participated in the SEEN training programme. In all these countries, national ringing centres are already working or will start their work soon.

We believe that the work of SEEN members is a powerful tool for the effective conservation of migratory bird species and their habitats.

Created by Pronetix 2006

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