Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.29(2). (2021) p.151-166.

Migration of Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla) in Hungary
László Bozó, András István Csathó, József Gyurácz, Attila Huber & Tibor Csörgő

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The Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla) is a regular, but small-number breeder in spruce and coniferous forests in the mountainous and hilly areas of Hungary, but is found in all parts of the country during migration. Despite this, only sporadic field observation data and ringing results in Western Hungary have been published so far. The aim of this study was to investigate the migration of this species on a national scale. In our work, we processed field observation data collected on the Csanádi-hát and capture-recapture data from three bird ringing stations (Szalonna, Tömörd and Ócsa) from the second half of the 1980s to 2021. We also used archive published field observation data from different parts of Hungary. Our results show that the spring migration of the species in the study areas took place between mid-March and late April – early May, and its timing did not differ significantly between regions. In contrast, the autumn migration was earlier in mountainous areas than in lowland areas. The small numbers and short duration of recaptured birds suggested a rapid migration in both periods. In autumn, we obtained a significant difference between the annual number of birds captured in Tömörd and Szalonna. In both periods, males were caught in greater numbers than females. In southern Hungary, the timing of migration in spring has not changed, but in autumn the species migrated earlier than a few decades ago.