Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 37/1-2 | 2000 | 33-45

  Subspecies, distribution and habitat of breeding Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus) in Belgium.
Schmitz, L. & Milchel, J.

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After three breeding occurrences during the seventies, the regular presence of Ring Ouzels during the breeding period has been established for 15 successive years on the Hautes-Fagnes plateau, with an annual maximum of ten territories. Those Ring Ouzels belong to the alpestris subspecies. The Belgian data outside of this limited area are no longer considered to be sufficiently documented. Collections at the IRSNB contain two skins belonging to the alpestris subspecies, collected or acquired in Belgium. The ecological requirements of breeding ouzels have been characterised by comparison of the occupied sites with potential habitats : preference for young spruce stands, upward from an elevation of 550 m, with increasing numbers above 660 m, on weak slopes, away from southern exposures. Such requirements correspond to data from central Europe, although elevations are lower than in mountainous areas, as it is often the case in other regions of lower altitudes. In the Figures, "Territory" refers to the occurence of settled birds; therefore the same site is taken into account several times if it was occupied during several years. "Breeding station" refers to a site where a settlement was observed; therefore each one is taken into occount once only in the analysis.