Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.10. (2000) p.163-170.

Autumn migration and wintering of Treecreeper species (Certhia spp) in Hungary
Csörgő Tibor és Karcza Zsolt

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This study was conducted between 1983-1997 in the northern part of the Ócsa Landscape Protected Area (47'19'N, 19,13'E) in Hungary. During the 15-year study period 55 Common Treecreepers (Certhia familiaris) and 139 Short-toed Treecreepers (C. brachydactyla) were ringed, and 21 individual birds were recaptured on 55 occasions of C. familaris and 5 8 individuals on 120 occasions of C.hrachydactyla. The length of time spent in the area and the proportions of recaptures in the two species were compared. The time spent in the area was interpreted as the time elapsed between the capture and the last recapture. Mean body mass, and wing length were compared between the following groups: Short-toed Treecreeper: I st migratory wave vs 211 migratory wave; birds captured only once vs birds recaptured (only for the 2nd wave). Treecreeper: birds captured during summer vs during migration; and birds captured only once vs birds recaptured. The first individuals of both species were caught in midsummer. Initially, more Short-toed than Common Treecreepers were in the study area. This first wave arrived and moved away within a short period, and only a few of the birds remained in the area for a longer time. The only Short-toed Treecreeper recapture from this group occurred in February, and was probably an early migrant. After the first summer wave, the second migratory wave of Short-toed Treecreepers was in late September (decades 27-28). Most of the Common Treecreepers arrived in one wave in November (decades 30-31). No wintering population existed of Common Treecreeper but a considerable proportion of the Short-toed Treecreepers from the second wave overwintered in the area. The only significant difference was between the wing length of Common Treecreepers caught in summer and migratory time. There was no difference in body mass between the birds arrived earlier or later, and between the birds that did not stay and those that were recaptured later The Short-toed Treecreeper seemed to be a sedentary wintering bird, while the Common Treecreeper had a more nomadic behaviour during the winter. Because no difference was found in wing length patterns of the two waves or between migrant and wintering birds, it is supposed that the reason of the separation intomigratory vawes was not the differences in the behaviour of sexes, ages or populations.. It would be expected that the Common Treecreeper has a more stabile usage of the wintering area by reason of competition, because it is dominant over Short-toed Treecreeper. Despite this the reversed situation was found.