Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 40/1-4 | 2003 | 105-106

  The importance of Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) colour-riging program.
Van Den Bossche, W.

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Article summary

In 1994, an international colour-riging project on Black Storks was initated with the cooperation of 12 countries and supported by the Donana Field Station (Spain - CSIC). Black storks from 8 of these countries follow the eastern migration route and could be observed in Israel. Their colour-rings are orange, with an inscription in black. The first inscription is a number that refers to the country of origin: Latvia (0), Poland (1), Austria (2), White Russia (3), Hungary (5), Czech Republic (6), Estonia (7) and Slovakia (8). The two other inscriptions are numbers or letters in a unique combination. All birds were colour-ringed at the tibia, except for Polish birds in 1996, which were ringed at the tarsus. The rings at the tarsus proved more difficult to read, because the storks are often standing in water. The metal ring at the other leg was placed at the tibia or tarsus. From autumn 1993 till 1997, I controled 109,358 Black Storks in Israel of which at least 1,439 had a ring. I identified 123 different ringed storks. Thanks to the colour-riging project that was started in 1994, the proportion of ringed birds in Black Stork groups increased from 2 out of 1,000 in 1993 to 8 out of 1,000 in 1996. The rings I could not identify were mainly metal rings; there were only 4 colour-rings that I could not read. Before I started my observations there was only one Black Stork recovered in Israel, found in 1990 and ringed in the Czech Republic. During my study period three additional findings of dead storks were reported to the israel bird ringing centre (IBRC), one bird I had already observed. The colour-riging program on Black Storks helped me very much to understand the migration pattern of this species. Unique information was gathered about the origin, arrival and departure time of wintering birds, repeated choice of wintering areas and several aspects of the migratory bahaviour: the effect of origin on arrival and departure time in autumn and spring, the individual differences in stopover time, repeated use of sites and local movements.

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