Advertisement

Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 160, Issue 1, pp 271–274 | Cite as

Migration, wing morphometry and wing moult in Spanish and House Sparrows from the eastern Balkan Peninsula

  • Steffen HahnEmail author
  • Dimitar Dimitrov
  • Tamara Emmenegger
  • Mihaela Ilieva
  • Strahil Peev
  • Pavel Zehtindjiev
  • Martins Briedis
Short Communication

Abstract

On the Balkan Peninsula, migratory Spanish Sparrows breed sympatrically with resident House Sparrows. While the two species share many biological and ecological traits, migratory patterns and adaptions to migratory lifestyle of the Spanish Sparrow are unknown. We tracked a Spanish Sparrow across its 1800 km long migration from Bulgaria to the nonbreeding sites in the Nile Delta. Stopovers were situated in western Turkey, before and after the 12 h-nonstop flights across the Mediterranean Sea. We show similar wing morphology in Spanish and House Sparrows indicating little adaptation to migration. However, Spanish Sparrows moult primaries earlier and faster allowing for timely migratory departure.

Keywords

Passer hispaniolensis Passer domesticus Nonbreeding Moult duration Biometrics Short-distance migration Geolocation 

Zusammenfassung

Zug, Flügelmorphometrie und Flügelmauser von Weiden- und Haussperlingen der östlichen Balkan-Halbinsel

Auf der Balkanhalbinsel brüten Weidensperlinge sympatrisch mit residenten Haussperlingen. Beide Arten teilen viele biologische und ökologische Merkmale; Zugmuster und Anpassungen an das Zugverhalten sind für den Weidensperling jedoch noch weitgehend unbekannt. Wir beschreiben hier die 1800 km lange Wanderung eines Weidensperlings von Bulgarien bis in das ägyptische Winterquartier im Nildelta. Der Vogel rastete im Herbst und im Frühling in der Westtürkei, vor bzw. nach seinem 12-stündigen Nonstop-Flug über das Mittelmeer. Weidensperlinge der Balkanhalbinsel hatten die gleiche Flügelmorphologie wie Haussperlinge und zeigten somit eine geringe Anpassung an den Zug. Sie mauserten ihre Flügelfedern jedoch zeitiger und schneller als die lokalen Haussperlinge und können somit zeitig im Herbst abwandern.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The study has been supported by the DO-G to SH (14.12.2009), the Swiss Federal Office for Environment (UTF 254.08.08) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF31003A_160265). Field work had been carried out under permission 243/01.03.2010 (Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and Waters). This study is Report No. 64 of the Biological Experimental Station ‘Kalimok’.

Author contributions

DD, MI did field work for geolocator section, TE, SP, SH captured and DD, MI, SP measured birds for the moult section, PZ generated many ideas for the migration study, provided permissions and supported field work, MB and SH analysed data and wrote the manuscript.

References

  1. Ait Belkacem A, Gast O, Stuckas H et al (2016) North African hybrid sparrows (Passer domesticus, P. hispaniolensis) back from oblivion—ecological segregation and asymmetric mitochondrial introgression between parental species. Ecol Evol 6:5190–5206.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.2274 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alonso JC (1984) Zur Mauser spanischer Weiden- und Haussperlinge (Passer hispaniolensis und domesticus). J Ornithol 125:209–223.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01640589 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baumgart W, Stephan B (1974) Die Ausbreitung des Weidensperlings (Passer hispaniolensis) auf der Balkanhalbinsel und ihre Ursachen. Zool Abh Mus Tierk Dresden 33:103–138Google Scholar
  4. Briedis M, Kurlavičius P, Mackevičienė R et al (2018) Loop migration, induced by seasonally different flyway use, in northern European Barn Swallows. J Ornithol.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10336-018-1560-1 Google Scholar
  5. Dolnik VR, Gavrilov VM (1975) A comparison of the seasonal and daily variations of bioenergetics, locomotor activities and major body composition in the sedentary House Sparrow (Passer d. domesticus) and the migratory “Hindian” Sparrow (P. d. bactrianus Dar et Kudash.). Ekol Pol 23:211–226Google Scholar
  6. Flint PR, Stewart PF (1992) The birds of Cyprus: an annotated check-list. British Ornithologist Union, TringGoogle Scholar
  7. Glutz von Blotzheim U, Bauer K (1997) Handbuch der Vögel Mitteleuropas, vol 14. Aula Verlag, WiesbadenGoogle Scholar
  8. Hogg P (1974) Trans-Saharan migration through Sarir, 1969–70. Ibis (Lond 1859) 116:466–476.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1474-919x.1974.tb07646.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Königstedt D, Robel D (1978) Zum Status des Weidensperlings (Passer hispaniolensis) in Bulgarien (Aves, Ploceidae). Zool Abh Mus Tierk Dresden 34:301–318Google Scholar
  10. Lambert F (1987) New and unusual bird records from the Sudan. Bull Br Ornithol Club 107:17–19Google Scholar
  11. Lisovski S, Hahn S (2012) GeoLight - processing and analysing light-based geolocator data in R. Methods Ecol Evol 3:1055–1059CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Roselaar CS (1995) Taxonomy, morphology, and distribution of the songbirds of Turkey: an atlas of biodiversity of Turkish passerine birds. Pica Press, RobertsbridgeGoogle Scholar
  13. Sultana J (2009) Spanish Sparrows apparently migrating through the Maltese Islands. Br Birds 102:602Google Scholar
  14. Summers-Smith JD (1988) The sparrows. A study of the genus Passer. T & AD Poyser, CaltonGoogle Scholar
  15. Yosef R, Markovets M (2009) Spring bird migration phenology in Eilat, Israel. Zookeys 31:193–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Bird MigrationSwiss Ornithological InstituteSempachSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem ResearchBulgarian Academy of SciencesSofiaBulgaria

Personalised recommendations