Spring migration phenology of Eurasian Woodcocks tagged with GPS-Argos transmitters in Central Europe

  • October 5, 2022
  • by Gergely Schally, Sándor Csányi and Péter Palatitz

Eurasian Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) plays a special role in the cultural heritage of most nations in Europe. In the last decade, ringing revealed the main migratory patterns of some well studied and intensively harvested Woodcock populations wintering in Western and Southern Europe. The same study sites and populations were in focus when the recently revolutionized satellite tracking technologies allowed the study of individual migrations. In contribution to these efforts, we present here the pre-nuptial migration data of Woodcocks captured and tagged with GPS-Argos transmitters in Central Europe, in 2020. Woodcocks migrated from the tagging site in Hungary to Ukraine, European Russia and Central Siberia by an average of 2,678 km (range 677–5,002 km). The duration of the migration ranged between 1–52 days, the overall migration speed was 382 km/day, the absolute maximum distance covered in a day was 866 km. The individual number of stopovers varied during the migration from 0 to 5. The average time spent at each stopover site was 5.6 days. Within the stopover sites, the daily displacements ranged between 11–3,329 m. The Carpathian Basin may be more important in the wintering of Woodcocks than previously assumed, as tagged birds stayed significantly longer compared to any later en route migratory stopover. In accordance with the results of previous DNA analysis, identified breeding grounds of tagged individuals represented a large part of the distribution area.

Publication Date
October 5, 2022

return migration, satellite tracking, arrival date, migratory stopover, Scolopax rusticola, PinPoint Argos

PUBLICATION AVAILABLE AT: https://ornisfennica.journal.fi/article/view/121933