Timing of autumn bird migration in central Spain in light of recent climate change

Authors: Eduardo T. MEZQUIDA, Alfonso VILLARÁN and Juan PASCUAL-PARRA

E-mail: e.tmezquida@upm.es

Published: Volume 54(2), December 2007. Pages 251-259.

Language: English

Keywords: climate change, long-distance migrants, Mediterranean area, migration phenology and short-distance migrants


Aims: To examine changes in the timing of migration of 10 migratory bird species (six long-distance and four short-distance migrants) during autumn passage in central Spain, comparing two periods during recent warming over the most part of Europe (1987 - 1990 and 2001 - 2005).

Location: Monte de Valdelatas, near Madrid, central Spain.

Methods: The number of weekly captures in mist-nets from late August to late October between the two studied periods was compared by fitting general linear mixed models.

Results: Long-distance migrants have advanced autumn migration through central Spain in recent years, whereas short-distance migrants have remained at similar passage dates.

Conclusions: Phenological changes observed for long-distance migrants in central Spain are in agreement with results found in other European localities. The phenology of autumn migration has not apparently changed for short-distance migrants. However, other factors associated with recent climate changes, such as the shortening of migration distances and reduction of migratoriness, may have confounded this analysis.

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