Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.8-9. (1999) p.1-12.

Migration and wintering of Finches (Fringillidae) in the Charpathian Basin based on ringing recoveries
G. Halmos & T. Csörgő

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The study is based on the foreign related recoveries (longer than 100 km) of the Databank of the Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society BirdLife Hungary Ringing Centre until the end of 1997. The most common finch species with more than 10 foreign recoveries were included in the study: Linnet (Acanthis cannabina), Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (C. chloris), Siskin (C. spinus), Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes), Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs), Brambling (F. montifringilla), and Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula). All of these species are partial migrants with different irruptive tendencies. The Hungarian - related recoveries of the Brambling and Siskin, which are the most irruptive species, connect these birds to those wintering in W Europe, but the other species use different, more eastern wintering areas. While those spend the winter in western parts of the Mediterranean area, particularly on the Iberian Peninsula, the Hungarian related Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Linnet and Hawfinch populations spend the winter on the Apennine Peninsula, while the Greenfinch and Goldfinch on the Balkan Peninsula. The three large Mediterranean peninsulas served as refugees for the finch populations in the glacial period. According to the observable pattern today, the role of the peninsulas were not significantly different, as finches use all three areas for wintering. The differences are on the population level, which possibly means that the populations survived on the different peninsulas, and when expanded to north occupied different breeding areas in Europe.