Seasonal individual and population-associated patterns of migration of goldfinches Carduelis carduelis through the western edge of Pyrenees

Authors: Juan ARIZAGA, Juan F. CUADRADO and Luis ROMERO


Published: Volume 56(1), June 2009. Pages 57-69.

Language: English

Keywords: age, biometry, Carduelis carduelis, goldfinch, Iberia, migration, Pyrenees, sex and strategies.


Aims: Contributing to know the migration strategies of goldfinches Carduelis carduelis passing over through the western edge of Pyrenees, focusing in time-associated variations in age and sex ratios and morphology.

Location: Txingudi and the surrounding mountain ranges, in NE Guipúzcoa (N Iberia).

Methods: Systematic sampling (ringing) sessions between Oct and Apr, from Mar 2004 to Apr 2008.

Results and discussion: Both sex and age ratios were similar among periods (autumn and spring migrations, and winter), with the same proportion of sexes and an age ratio biased to juveniles (80 % of captures). Concerning biometrics, spring migrants showed a shorter wing and tail, and were more fuel loaded than birds from autumn and winter. During autumn, adults tended to pass later than juveniles, as did long-distance like migrants (presumably from more northern breeding quarters) in relation to shortdistance like ones. Both sex and age ratios did not vary across the spring, and long-distance like migrants tended to pass over earlier than short-distance like ones.

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