In species that breed and winter in different areas, migration is a key period of the annual cycle with important effects on subsequent events in life. In order to investigate relationships between migration and other events in the annual cycle or environmental factors, we first need to acquire a basic knowledge of the dynamics (pattern and timing) of migration of various species. Our current knowledge of migration dynamics of European passerine birds is based mainly on studies of populations passing via the Western flyway. In contrast, relatively little is known about populations migrating via the Eastern flyway. We examined the seasonal pattern and timing of migration of several abundant passerine species flying across the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. We tested whether these were consistent between years within species and also among species within two ecological groups (long- and short-distance migrants). For most species the dynamics of migration were consistent between years. The pattern of migration was consistent among species of long- and of short-distance migrants. The two groups differed in timing of passage in autumn, with long-distance migrants passing significantly earlier than short distance ones.
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