Red-spotted Bluethroats Luscinia s. svecica migrate along the Indo-European flyway: a geolocator study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Capsule Red-spotted Bluethroats Luscinia s. svecica from two European breeding populations spent the boreal winter on the Indian sub-continent. Aim Tracking the migration of Red-spotted Bluethroats from Europe to the hitherto unknown non-breeding areas and back. Methods Light-level geolocators were deployed on male Bluethroats at breeding sites in the Czech Republic (n = 10) and in Norway (n = 30). Recorded light intensity data were used to estimate the locations of non-breeding sites and migration phenology during the annual cycle. Results Bluethroats spent the boreal winter in India (n = 3) and Pakistan (n = 1), on average more than 6000 km from their breeding areas. Autumn migration started in August (n = 1) or early September (n = 2), and lasted for 26–74 days. Spring migration commenced on 8 and 9 April (n = 2) and lasted for about a month. During both autumn and spring migration, birds stopped over two or three times for more than 3 days. Conclusion This study for the first time showed where Red-spotted Bluethroats from European breeding populations stay during the boreal winter. This seems to be the first time that a passerine bird has been tracked along the Indo-European flyway.