Migration patterns of Hoopoe Upupa epops and Wryneck Jynx torquilla: an analysis of European ring recoveries
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For many bird species, recovery of ringed individuals remains the best source of information about their migrations. In this study, we analyzed the recoveries of ringed European Hoopoe (Upupa epops) and the Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla) from 1914 to 2005 from all European ringing schemes. The aim was to define general migration directions and to make inferences about the winter quarters, knowing that hardly any recoveries are available from sub-Saharan Africa. For the autumn migration, there is evidence of a migratory divide for the Hoopoe in Central Europe, at approximately 10–12°E. Autumn migration directions of Wrynecks gradually change from SW to SE depending on the longitude (west to east) of the ringing place. In both species, only a few recoveries were available indicating spring migration directions, but they showed similar migration axes as for autumn migration, and hence no evidence for loop-migration. Due to a paucity of recoveries on the African continent, we can make only limited inferences about wintering grounds: extrapolating migration directions are only indicative of the longitude of the wintering area. The directions of autumn migration indicate a typical pattern observed in European long-distance migrants: west-European Hoopoes and Wrynecks are likely to winter in western Africa, while central- and east-European birds probably winter more in the east. Due to the migratory divide, for the Hoopoe, this phenomenon is more pronounced.