Aquatic macroinvertebrates are a major link in food webs in temporary ponds and useful indicators of wetlands’ecological integrity. We investigated the available trophic resources and the physicochemical quality of 14 wetlands frequented by glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), a resident species with an increasing population in Numidia, northeast Algeria. Sampling of temporary ponds was carried out in winter and early spring, prior to the Glossy Ibis’ breeding period. Analyses indicated that the studied waterbodies contained a rich and diversified aquatic community, dominated mainly by insects and molluscs and characterized by a spatio-temporal change in composition and abundance, reflecting a spatial heterogeneity and a temporal niche partitioning of various members of the aquatic community. Furthermore, the density of Glossy Ibis in foraging areas changed seasonally and declined significantly with the distance to the nearest roost. In the context of climate change and human encroachment, the close dependence of Glossy Ibis and other waders on a matrix of secure roosts and temporary ponds during the nonbreeding season puts them in jeopardy unless these imperilled but generally unprotected habitats are actively managed.
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus is a nesting species in Azerbaijan. Nesting occurs in large mixed colonies with up to 11 species, including herons, ibises and cormorants. The research was conducted on all main nesting sites in Caspian Sea coast and on inland lakes and water reservoirs of Kur-Araz lowland. The present study estimates Glossy Ibis abundance between 1990-2006 in Azerbaijan to be between 10,000–15,000 individuals. This is about two times less than a previous estimate published for the 1990s which reported 12,500–18,000 pairs (25,000–36,000 individuals). However, the dynamics seemed to be heterogeneous among different Azerbaijan sites. As an example, the population declined in Aggol (about four-fold) and in Mahmudchala lakes (>30-fold), whereas it increased in Gyzylagach SNR and Sarisu lake (up to 6,000-8,000); from other areas the data were not precise enough to infer net changes in numbers. Although absent in the list of species permitted for hunting, the Glossy Ibis is not a protected species in Azerbaijan. No special Protected Areas are dedicated for Glossy Ibis but, notably, two National Parks (Aggol and Shirvan) and one State Nature Reserve (Gyzylagach) include > 63% of all of the breeding population in the country. Main threats for the Glossy Ibis are illegal hunting and fluctuation of water level, due to the presence of dams or water extraction effectuated in most nesting sites. To improve the conservation status of the Glossy Ibis in Azerbaijan I recommend to: (i) increase the effectiveness of plans against illegal hunting, (ii) strengthen conservation work in Special Protected Areas, and (iii) develop and maintain a regular monitoring program of the species especially consisting of spring–summer counts in all key sites.
The Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus is a well-known bird species in Greece since antiquity as evidenced by many ancient texts. In recent times, the species was initially confirmed nesting in 1960, in a colony consisting of approximately 1,000 pairs at Evros Delta, northeastern Greece and a few years later at three more wetlands. Its nesting population in Greece has been surveyed since 1985. Until 1990 it was recorded in at least three colonies with its nesting population presenting a negative trend ranging from 71 to 45 pairs. After 2003 its nesting population started increasing gradually reaching 639 pairs in 2017. During the same period its geographical nesting range expanded in eight colonies mostly in northern and western Greece. Glossy Ibis nests in reed beds, trees and bushes, in mixed colonies with ardeids, Great and Pygmy Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo and Microcarbo pygmaeus) and European Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia. Their colonies are situated at lakeshores, river deltas and freshwater marshes that are located in large, protected wetlands. Water pollution, as well as, degradation of wet meadows in certain wetlands are considered to be the main threats for the species. The recently recorded increase of the nesting population can probably be related to better surveillance and organized attempts for wetland management that takes place in Greece during the last decade, at least.
The breeding of Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus in Doñana has been documented between 1774 and the beginning of the 20th century, when it became extinct as regular breeder. Doñana was the last wetland where the species has bred in Spain. These ibises recolonized the Iberian Peninsula in 1973 (Albufera of Valencia) as a breeder, and in 1996 started to breed in the Ebro Delta and Doñana. Since then, the Glossy Ibis has expanded in Spain and other western Europe countries after the remarkable increase of the population in Doñana where it nests in the natural marshes. In these natural marshes there are four main breeding areas (usually with more than one thousand couples), five secondary areas (which have never reached one thousand couples), and three areas used sporadically. The breeding population has been growing, except for the dry years, from seven couples in 1996 to more than one thousand in 2004, more than seven thousand in 2011 and more than ten thousand in 2017. The total number of birds ringed until 2017 is 17,565, the 97.44% of all Glossy Ibises ringed in Spain. The total number of resightings reported is 29,199, the 99% of all the resightings of Glossy Ibises ringed in Spain. Many of these resightings proceed from European countries, North Africa, and even a few of them are from America. The Glossy Ibis is frequently observed in the area also during the non-reproductive season. Our winter censuses of the species in the Natural Area of Doñana and in the nearby rice fields are carried out in January. The resulting data show a clear growing trend and confirm that Doñana is the most important wintering area of the species in Spain.
Since 2004, the breeding and wintering Glossy Ibis populations are experiencing a steep increase in the Valencia Region, with Albufera de València being the main breeding and wintering ground in the region. In Albufera de València, the monitoring of the Glossy Ibis population began in 2013 as part of a broader waterbird monitoring program to raise understanding on the relationship between waterbird population dynamics and the agronomic practices of rice farming. It was until 2016 that enough data was obtained to estimate the breeding phenology. The data show a bimodal distribution, with a first group of breeders starting egg-laying around the second week of April, and another cohort starting in the third week of May. Different values were observed between years in the clutch size, number of hatched eggs, hatching success and breeding success. Within the breeding season of 2016, the first cohort showed significant higher numbers of eggs hatched and hatching success than the second cohort. Breeding success was also higher for the first cohort but differences were not significant. We also developed a preliminary movement assessment to understand the origin of birds present during the breeding and wintering period, showing that in both cases there is a significant bias to a French origin of the birds rather than of Doñana colonies.
Los arrozales y las aves acuáticas han supuesto tradicionalmente un ejemplo paradigmático sobre las sinergias que tienen lugar entre agricultura y conservación. Esta relación es especialmente relevante durante el período de cultivo, en el que las aves acuáticas nidificantes buscan recursos para cubrir sus requisitos energéticos y el de sus crías. Sin embargo, en los últimos años, las implantaciones de nuevas técnicas de cultivo, como el uso de variedades tardías de arroz o el cultivo en seco, potencialmente afectan a la disponibilidad trófica y ponen en riesgo el cumplimiento de dicho papel como sustento de sus poblaciones. Por ello, los estudios sobre cómo las especies y las comunidades que establecen hacen uso del arrozal para alimentarse durante un período tan crítico, constituyen una herramienta indispensable para interpretar sus dinámicas poblacionales, especialmente durante el período de reproducción. En un marco de declive poblacional y baja productividad de varias especies de aves coloniales en l’Albufera de València (España), este estudio pretende determinar la dieta de las crías de 7 especies de aves acuáticas cuya alimentación se basa en los arrozales: garza real Ardea cinerea, garceta común Egretta garzetta, garcilla bueyera Bubulcus ibis, garcilla cangrejera Ardeola ralloides, morito común Plegadis falcinellus, gaviota reidora Chroicocephalus ridibundus y pagaza piconegra Gelochelidon nilotica. Para ello, se realizaron análisis de isótopos estables de carbono (δ13C) y de nitrógeno (δ15N) a partir de 142 muestras de sangre pertenecientes a los pollos y de 60 muestras del tejido muscular relativas a distintas presas potenciales. La garcilla bueyera alimentó a sus crías en un rango más amplio de fuentes de alimentación basadas en organismos situados en la parte inferior de la cadena trófica y de hábitats menos acuáticos. La pagaza piconegra mostró el rango más estrecho, con una mayor preferencia por los odonatos. El morito común basó su alimentación en los hábitats más dulceacuícolas de las especies objetivo, consumiendo principalmente larvas de odonatos. En cambio, la dieta de la garza real se constituía de organismos situados en la parte alta de la cadena trófica (peces ciprínidos, culebras de agua Natrix maura y aves). Las crías de garcilla cangrejera fueron alimentadas principalmente con odonatos y peces ciprínidos, mientras que las de la garceta común se alimentaron principalmente de odonatos, anfibios y larvas de dípteros. Por último, la dieta de las crías de la gaviota reidora se encontraba mayoritariamente compuesta por anfibios, larvas de efídridos y peces ciprínidos. Los resultados han permitido discriminar la ecología trófica de las aves coloniales que explotan los arrozales y sugieren una separación de nichos entre la mayor parte de las especies, solapándose entre garceta común, gaviota reidora y garza real. Asimismo, resulta de interés que el cangrejo rojo americano Procambarus clarkii, el cual era considerado una presa abundante en los arrozales, no suponga una parte relevante de la dieta de ninguna de las especies estudiadas, incluso en las generalistas, sugiriendo un declive de su población. Esto podría haber motivado una mayor importancia en la dieta de otros grupos cuya relevancia no se había descrito hasta ahora, como los odonatos.
In this paper we summarize the current status of the Glossy IbisPlegadisfalcinellusin the Ebro delta based on the information obtained from specificand non-specific bird monitoring programs developed by the Ebro DeltaNatural Park’s technical team. It was quite a rare species until 1990s. The firstdata included in the International Waterbird Census of mid-January was of onebird in 1988 and, from this year,thewintering population has grown almostexponentially. Currently counts fluctuate between 3,500 and 4,000 birds, withamaximum of nearly 6,600 birdsrecordedin the winter of 2017/2018. TheGlossy Ibis feeds mainly in the rice paddies, particularly when they are floodedwith fresh water and nearly the entire wintering population is concentrated injust a few groups. Roosting sites are located in some coastal lagoons, mainly insalt and reed marshes. The first recordofa breeder was obtained in 1996 (fourpairs). Since that year, growth in the breeding population has been strong and in2014 there were 214 pairs. Until 2014 there were five breeding sites. In 1996aspecial ringing programme featuring the use of plastic bands that incorporatedengraved unique codesbegan. Of 236 chicks banded during the 1996-2017period, 108 (45.8%) have been observed oneor moretimes. The overallnumber of resightings amounted to432, with an average of four resightings perindividual (range: 1-35). 90% of resightings occurred in Spain and in the southof France, although observations were distributed among seven countries, all ofwhich are in Europe. Wetookinto consideration some methodologicaldifficulties of the counting of this gregariousspecies, both inthewinter andbreeding population. We analyse succinctly its vulnerability to someagricultural changes, particularly the surface flooded decrease in rice paddies in winter.
Although Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus are found in zoos throughout the world, most (421, including 135 males, 150 females and 136 of unknown gender) are held in 44 European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) zoos. Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs) have been established for all animal groups that are housed in EAZA zoos. These TAGs acts as link between in situ and ex situ efforts, and work to improve conservation and research contributions as well as aptive welfare and husbandry of the species under their umbrella. One of the main tasks of TAGs is to develop Regional Collection Plans (RCPs) that define the reasons for having captive population of the selected species and the ex situ management level that the species require. The Glossy Ibis has been designated the management category Monitor by Person in the RCP developed by the Ciconiiformes and Phoenicopteriformes TAG, which includes all of the taxa traditionally included in the order Ciconiiformes. The EAZA Glossy Ibis population has been steadily growing for the last 20 years, and overall larger groups have had better breeding success than smaller groups. Some management issues currently being tackled are mentioned in this paper. The One Plan Approach requires that animals in zoos and aquariums have a conservation role that benefits wild counterparts. This approach extends beyond ex situ breeding programs by linking researchers in zoological facilities with scientists and conservationists working directly with wild populations. Through their support of in situ projects, research, conservation education, capacity building, advocacy, lobbying and fund raising, many members of EAZA are active in the conservation of habitats and entire ecosystems.
Numbers of Glossy Ibis recorded in Britain have increased dramatically since the mid-2000s, mirroring the increase in their breeding population in southwest Europe, especially in Doñana (south Spain). Despite the increasing number of records in Britain, there are still only small numbers of Glossy Ibis present in spring and, so far, only two nesting attempts. The majority of Glossy Ibises recorded in Britain arrive in autumn, with re-sightings of colour-ringed birds indicating that most arrive during their first year. Our results indicate that, regardless of any common trend, larger numbers of Glossy Ibis tend to be recorded in Britain in years when smaller numbers have bred in Doñana. A higher proportion of Glossy Ibises then tend to be present in Britain in spring compared to the previous autumn, when temperatures are higher during the winter in between. In short, our results suggest that Glossy Ibis is more likely to breed in Britain when poor conditions for breeding in Doñana are followed by mild winters in Britain. Although we expect Glossy Ibis to begin breeding regularly in Britain eventually, there are probably very few wetlands in Britain large enough to support breeding colonies of significant size.
A review of ongoing projects focusing on the Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus and carried out by the Laboratoire de Conservation des Zones Humides since 2002 is presented. A brief description of these projects (population counts, breeding ecology, foraging behaviour, niche partitioning, diet, dispersal, morphometric sexing, parasitology and conservation) and constraints hindering these efforts are provided and discussed. These projects have benefitted from a fruitful collaboration with Doñana Biological Station and it is expected that the recently created International Glossy Ibis Network may facilitate further collaboration that will ultimately help the conservation of the species across its breeding range.
This work aims to clarify the current breeding status of the Glossy Ibis and describe the recent population dynamics of the species in Tunisia. We have used bibliographic data from 25 ornithologists and personal observations made during our long-term monitoring of the Tunisian wetlands. The Glossy Ibis was always observed in the winter (56.74% of observations) and before (8.61%) and after (28.78%) the breeding period. The majority of these observations (43.41%) were from southern Tunisia. The lowest percentage was recorded during the breeding period (5.85%) principally in Lebna dam at Cap-Bon (north-east Tunisia) where the breeding of the species on Tunisian territory was demonstrated for the first time in 2008. Another nesting case with 4 breeding pairs was recorded in June 2014 at Ichkeul Lake in northern Tunisia. Currently, the nesting populations of Glossy Ibis appear unstable at both breeding sites. In 2017, for the first time in the last three decades, there was no mixed heronry in the Ichkeul National Park and, therefore, no Glossy Ibis nesting. On the other hand, in Lebna the number of breeders continued to decrease year-to-year until just one couple was recorded in 2017. The current situation of the breeding populations in Tunisia is serious and requires urgent action by conservation stakeholders. It is therefore necessary to start an adequate conservation plan to safeguard the protection of the species in Tunisia. We suggest that more effort should be devoted to limit anthropic disturbances, especially during the breeding season, and to properly manage the recently-built dams around the Ichkeul Lake in order to guarantee sufficient levels of water for wading birds nesting.
This is the first issue of the publication of the IUCN SSC Stork, Ibis and Spoonbill Specialist Group. The first issue is a Special Issue dedicated to the ecology and conservation of the Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus. This has the participation of 75 researchers from various countries around the globe, and is the first monograph of the Glossy Ibis.
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The Glossy Ibis is among the most widespread bird species in the world. However, the Glossy Ibis erratic occurrence and distribution makes it a difficult species to study, and we know little about its dispersal and metapopulation dynamics. This study summarises previously-scattered and unpublished information by collating, in a single database, the largest number of longdistance recoveries ever reached for this species (190 individuals). Our findings suggest that (i) according to old records (about 1910 - 1995) the dispersal from the breeding grounds in East Europe was directed towards the Sahelian floodplains, North-East Africa, the Middle East and India; (ii) West and East Europe populations are probably connected; (iii) the recently (about 1995 onwards) increasing and spreading populations in West Europe do not tend to migrate south and overwinter in Sub-Saharan Africa; and, (iv) the genetic distance between geographically distant populations might be low considering the records of long-distance flights with the most impressive, and unpublished, one being that of an individual moving from Spain to the Virgin Islands (> 6,000 Km). Overall, these findings highlight the need for a research network capable of dealing with the frequent changes in the distribution and dispersal dynamics of the Glossy Ibis and its fast responses to environmental changes.
- Stefano Volponi
This paper reviews the status of the Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus in Italy reporting updated information on the distribution and numbers of the breeding and wintering population. In Italy, until the last five-ten years, this ibis species was considered a regular migrant, an irregular and localized breeder, and a rare and uncommon wintering species. Breeding was historically known in some heronries located in northern Italy and a few other sites irregularly occupied in Apulia and Sardinia. During migrations, single individuals and small flocks were more frequent and regular in April and September. These data contrast with the information from the 19th and early 20th centuries when the Glossy Ibis were observed throughout entire Italian peninsula and up to thousands of individuals were recorded in Sicily in the spring and several hundreds of breeding pairs were recorded in Piedmont. A slow but significant change in the distribution and number of Glossy Ibises has been recorded from about the year 2010 when Glossy Ibises have been seen during the whole year and across the whole country, a larger number of wintering birds have been reported, and the breeding population has increased in number, spreading into new areas. From recoveries of colour-ringed ibises, changes in population size and distribution observed in Italy could be linked to the expansion of the new increasing population in Western Europe. Because of its pivotal position at the centre of the Mediterranean basin, Italy can play a significant role as a bridge between western and eastern populations, contributing to the conservation of the Glossy Ibis along the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) flyway
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Background Long-term research is crucial for the conservation and development of knowledge in ecology; however, it is essential to quantify and minimize any negative effects associated with research to gather reliable and representative long-term monitoring data. In colonial bird species, chicks are often marked with coded bands in order to assess demographic parameters of the population. Banding chicks in multi-species colonies is challenging because it involves disturbances to species that are at different stages of progress in their reproduction. Methods We took advantage of a long term banding program launched on Glossy Ibis ( Plegadis falcinellus ) breeding in a major mixed colony of herons in Camargue, southern France, to assess the effect of banding operation disturbance on the reproductive success of the three most numerous waterbirds species in the colony. Over two breeding seasons (2015 and 2016), 336 nests of Glossy Ibis, Little Egrets ( Egretta garzetta ) and Cattle Egrets ( Bubulcus ibis ) were monitored from a floating blind in two zones of the colony: one zone disturbed twice a year by the banding activities and another not disturbed (control zone). We applied a logistic-exposure analysis method to estimate the daily survival rate (DSR) of nests and chicks aged up to three weeks. Results Daily survival rate of Glossy Ibis was reduced in the disturbed zone while DSR increased for Little and Cattle Egrets in the disturbed zone. Nevertheless, DSR was not reduced on the week following the banding, thus discarding a direct effect of handling on breeding success of Glossy Ibis. The protocol and statistical analysis presented here are robust and can be applied to any bird species to test for the effect of a research disturbance or other short and repeated temporal events that may affect reproductive success over one or more breeding seasons.
Threskiornithidae family is represented in Greece by Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia Linnaeus, 1758 and Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus Linnaeus, 1766. Their presence in Greece is reported by Aristotle (384-322 π.Χ.), however, the first documented nesting for Glossy Ibis refers to the Evros Delta in 1960 and for Spoonbill to the Evros Delta and Ismaris Lake in 1965. Both species have been recorded nesting in mixed colonies with herons, egrets, Pygmy and Great Cormorants in 13 wetlands in northern and western Greece. The Spoonbill nesting population reached 385 pairs in 2015 with the largest colony being at Kerkini Lake (185 pairs). Spoonbill overwinters at the wetlands of northern and western Greece in increasing numbers during the last years. The nesting population of Glossy Ibis was at least 1500 pairs in the early 1970s, then almost collapsed (45 pairs in 1990) and gradually recovered from the early 2000s (639 pairs at 2017). The largest colonies were at Amvrakikos Gulf and Kalamas Delta. The increase of the nesting population of both species in Greece may be due to the improved wardening of Greek wetlands and/or to climate change.
One of the most important issue in Population Ecology is understanding how demographic parameters change in response to environmental conditions. The relevance of this topic is increasing because of the current and future scenarios of global change. As a result, the scientific community is giving special interest to the study of ecological processes like dispersal, colonization and population growth and how they depend for demographic parameters of populations structured, for example, in age, sex and breeding status. Collating data suitable for the investigation of these processes is challenging as they typically require a long term monitoring of long-lived species, like the Glossy Ibis, which mean many years of patient field-work. Moreover, an extra difficulty for this kind of studies is the importance of starting the field-work from the very settlement of a new colony, something that allows addressing aspects of population ecology in a much more efficient way. The present work has been possible thanks to the dedication and effort of the research and technician staff (Monitoring team of natural processes) of the Estación Biológica de Doñana. Their farsightedness has made possible the monitoring of the Glossy Ibis Doñana population from the very starting point, in 1996, when seven breeding pairs settle in the National Park. The aim of this work has been describing and analyzing the population dynamic of this overlooked model species to infer the main factors which play a role in the processes of colonization, growth and expansion of a species.
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Abstract.—The status and breeding success of Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) in Numidia, Algeria and factors affecting its conservation in Algeria and North Africa were investigated during 2002-2007. After a century and a half of apparent interruption, reproduction was once again noted at Lake Fetzara and three new breeding sites: Dakhla, Chatt and Lake Tonga. At the latter site, colonies shifted location annually between 2002 and 2006 and were often split into subcolonies located on distinct islets. Egg-laying occurred between mid-April and the end of June, beginning over a month earlier in 2004 than in 2005. Mean clutch size for the combined three study years (2004, 2005 and 2007) was 3.7 ± 0.6 (N = 49 clutches). Hatching success amounted to 89% (29 clutches) and an average of 2.7 ± 0.9 chicks per nest survived to twelve days. Habitat loss and degradation as well as lack of management plans are identified as major threats to the future of the Glossy Ibis in Algeria
The aim of this study was to identify the ectoparasite community that may be found on the body of Glossy Ibis chicks Plegadis falcinellus in two Algerian wetlands, Chatt and Lake Fetzara, during the breeding season of 2010. Birds were parasitized by the following chewing lice (Phthiraptera: Amblycera, Ischnocera) species at both study sites: Plegadiphilus plegadis and Colpocephalum leptopygos (both Menoponidae), Ardeicola rhaphidius and Ibidoecus bisignatus (both Philopteridae). In addition, one tick (larva) Ixodes ricinus was also found at Lake Fetzara. All these ectoparasites were recorded in Algeria for the first time. Results showed that chewing lice varied in their spatial distribution at the infracommunity level with some species displaying no microhabitat preferences, whereas others confined themselves to specific body parts of their hosts. The recorded frequency pattern of chewing lice followed the negative binomial distribution.
Abstract- Over the last decade, the Glossy ibis has staged a come-back in Algeria after an absence lasting almost a century. The breeding was recorded in the year 2002 and in the period 2003-2008 the breeding population has been monitored at four sites across the wetland complex of Numidia, north-east Algeria. In order to increase our knowledge of the causes underlying fluctuations in the dynamics of local colonies, a banding scheme of Glossy Ibis chicks was started in 2008, for the first time in North Africa. A total of 72 chicks of a c.100 breeding pairs estimated in three distinct colonies were banded.
Overall, the conclusion has to be that the Glossy Ibis certainly seems to have increased in both range and abundance over the Western Cape in the two-decade period between SABAP1 and SABAP2. Its fortunes appear to be mixed over the remainder of South Africa, with some clear regions of increase and some clear regions of decrease. The atlas database does not provide reasons for the changes, it only highlights the patterns, which then need further and more detailed investigation. This is clearly an interesting and enigmatic species. Yet, there seems to be no full-length paper devoted to any aspect of the biology of the Glossy Ibis in southern Africa. Genetic analyses would probably reveal whether the species did indeed only start breeding in South Africa in the middle of the 20th century. We still do not know if any of the Glossy Ibises occurring in South Africa are migrants from Eurasia.
Most of ringing data on Glossy Ibis date back to the pre-war period. These records indicate that Glossy Ibis yearlings stay around the breeding grounds in the Carpathian Basin until August-September; some early autumn migrants might appear on the Romanian Plain as early as August. During their migration young birds appear in Italy, France and Algeria; recoveries are reported from Egypt in November. Other young birds wander north-northwest, as confirmed by the recoveries from the Netherlands and Norway. One young bird, ringed in Hungary was 23 days later in Russia, 2,500 km distance away to the northeast. Older birds have were found in Egypt, Italy and Malta during spring migration, and in Ukraine, Russia, Greece and Spain during autumn migration, respectively. Breeding area shift might also occur in the Hungarian breeding population: an individual ringed at Kis-Balaton presumably bred in the Danube Delta at the age of six.