Autumn migration of Reed Buntings Emberiza schoeniclus in Switzerland

Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) Science Article 1


To elucidate the migration strategies of Reed Buntings Emberiza schoeniclus migrating through Central Europe, we analysed data from 595 Reed Buntings ringed at La Touviere, Rhone River, Geneva, Switzerland, during the autumn migration from September to November 2004. These data were used to investigate age, sex, biometrics and body condition in relation to timing of migration. The overall sex ratio and the ratio of first-years to adult birds were 1:1 and 3:1, respectively, but there was a chronological sequence of young females, adult females, young males and adult males during the autumn. The mean bill depth varied during the study period with individuals migrating during October having deeper bills. The greater bill depth of males by comparison with other European studies suggests a more northeasterly origin of these birds, compatible with a leap-frog migration.

Patrick Schmitz and Florian Steiner, Ringing & Migration (2006) 23, 33-38

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