Comparing bluethroat Luscinica svecica azuricollis breeding densities using two censusing protocols

Authors: Salvador J. PERIS and Solange MENDES


Published: Volume 57(Especia, December 2010. Pages 117-122.

Language: English


In order to estimate the breeding population of the bluethroat Luscinia svecica azuricollis in the Iberian Peninsula line transects were conducted following mountain paths. The 2008 transects were undertaken without taped calls, but in 2009, the song of the species was emitted for 2 min every 200 m. If during this time no answering call was detected, the operation was repeated at the next site 200 m away. In addition, with baited clap-traps 5 males were captured and colour-ringed in a selected area in NW Spain (Sanabria, Zamora). Plotted observations of ringed birds according to theminimum polygon area method showed home range sizes from 620 to 2,800 m2 per individual, with a mean of 1,573 m2 . The overlap between neighbouring males was close to 25% (120-600 m2), always in the most open zones of the landscape and never in brushy areas. In view of the relatively small areas occupied by the Spanish bluethroat and the results of comparisons among censuses with and without playbacks, we consider that performing linear transects, with calls played every 200 m, is a reliable method to estimate the number of breeding males of the species, detecting between 0 and 25% morethan without taped calls.

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