the spatiotemporal distribution of birds is crucial for effective management
and conservation of their populations. However, we still have only limited
knowledge not only of the wintering destinations of many Iberian breeding
migrants but also of aspects as general as the migratory behaviour of the
populations of many common avian species that breed in the Iberian highlands.
We used bird-ringing data to shed light on the migratory status (migratory,
partially-migratory or sedentary) of the breeding populations of 13 common
species occurring year-round in a woodland located on an Iberian plateau (Garaio, Araba, Spain; 574 m.a.s.l.),where
ringing activities have been carried out over the last 20 years. To assess the
extent to which birds breeding on this site remain in the area during winter
and/or are replaced by conspecifics coming from other areas, we analysed: (1)
changes in relative abundance of birds between summer and winter, (2) the
frequency of sedentary individuals (birds captured both in summer and winter
period in the study area) in relation to the number of individuals captured
only in summer (summer visitors) or in winter (wintering birds), and (3)
variation in wing length among summer, wintering and sedentary birds. Our
results revealed great variation among species in the intensity of migratory
behaviour, and a general arrival of foreign conspecifics during the winter for
most of the species studied. Likewise, our study represents an illustrative
example of how long-term ringing can be used to shed light on the migratory
status of bird populations.
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