European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 647–655 | Cite as

Origin and migration of woodcock Scolopax rusticola wintering in Spain

  • Jose Luis Guzmán
  • Yves Ferrand
  • Beatriz Arroyo
Original Paper


Woodcock Scolopax rusticola is an important game species in Northern Spain, where it is mainly a wintering species. Knowledge about the migration and origin of the woodcock wintering in Spain is relatively sparse, existing to date only qualitative analyses dating more than a decade. From the analyses of ringing recoveries of woodcock wintering in Spain, we evaluate the relative importance of various countries or regions as sources of the woodcock wintering in Spain, an estimate of their migratory route. Our analyses show the Circum-Baltic Region to be the most important breeding area of the woodcock wintering in Spain. Within that area, both Sweden and Western Russia appear to be particularly important. Analyses of the ringing locations of woodcock ringed during migration and recovered in Spain in winter suggest that woodcock wintering in Spain migrate primarily through the South of the Baltic Sea, Germany and France. The proportion of woodcock ringed in different French regions during the postnuptial migration months (October and November) that was subsequently recovered in Spain (mainly through hunting) declined with the proportion of those birds that was recovered in France (also mainly through hunting). We discuss the management implications of these results.


Management Migration Circum-Baltic Region Ringing Spain 



This study has been funded by the Comité Interautonómico de Caza y Pesca Continental in Spain and has been carried out within the Framework of the Interregional Study on Woodcock Scolopax rusticola in Spain (project number 200430E471). We thank the staff in ringing offices that provided woodcock ringing data: Chris du Feu (EURING Data Bank), Óscar Frías (Oficina de Especies Migratorias, Dirección General para la Biodiversidad, Ministerio de Medio Ambiente), Ainara Azkona (Oficina de Anillamiento de Aranzadi), Kaarel Kaisel (Estonia), Jacquie Clark (British Trust for Ornithology), Juris Kazubiernis (Letonia), Jari Valkama (Finlandia), Dr Thord Fransson (Bird Ringing Centre, Swedish Museum of Natural History), and Didier Vangeluwe (Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, Centre Belge de Baguage). Additionally, we are grateful to all the Spanish ringers that contributed to the project: David Lizaso, Miguel San Martín, Alberto Artácoz, Felipe Oiarzabal, Iñaki Balda, Peio Oiarzabal, Juan Jesús Picabea, Nestor Domeño, Iñaki Ripa, Angel María Sarratea, Eduardo Sarratea, Javier Oiaregui, Ion Aldunzin, Fernando Belzunce, Rafael López de Aberasturi, Jesús Gutierrez, Melchor Alzugara, Agustín Mendiburu, Mikel Olano, Esteban Iriarte, Alejandro Onrubia, Ibón Telletxea, Javier Monge, Pedro Zuleta, Marco Escudero, José Luis Rivas, Javier Lucientes, Carlos Pérez, Javier Ferreres, Rubén Ibáñez, Marco Escudero, Marc Palles, Celestino Suarez, Miguel González-Vélez, Justo José Robles, and Pablo González. Enrique Castién provided useful comments on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jose Luis Guzmán
    • 1
  • Yves Ferrand
    • 2
  • Beatriz Arroyo
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Investigación en Recursos CinegéticosIREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM)Ciudad RealSpain
  2. 2.Direction des études et de la rechercheOffice National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage (ONCFS)St BenoitFrance

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