Volum 6 (2011) Pages: 1-364
Spring migration in the western Mediterranean and NW Africa: the results of 16 years of the Piccole Isole project
Gargallo, G., Barriocanal, C., Castany, J., Clarabuch, O., Escandell, R., López-Iborra, G., Rguibi-Idrissi, H., Robson, D., Suárez, M.
Every spring long-distance Palaearctic migrants return to Europe from their sub-Saharan wintering grounds after having crossed two large geographical barriers in near succession, the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean sea.
This journey is particularly demanding at this time of year because birds need to reach
their breeding grounds as soon as possible to establish territories and find mates.
Spring migration in the western Mediterranean and NW Africa: the results of 16 years of the
Piccole Isole project presents the main findings of a network of ringing stations that were in operation between 1992 and 2007 in Spain and Morocco. This network provided the first opportunity to simultaneously study spring bird migration right across the Mediterranean basin. Migrating birds were studied both in their areas of origin (NW Africa) and also in the areas where they stopped either during the sea crossing (Mediterranean islands) or while following less energetically demanding continental routes (coastal Spain).
The work is essentially based on the results obtained for 30 species, all of which are dealt with extensively in the species accounts that make up the bulk of this monograph. These species include 26 trans-Saharan migrants (all bar three passerines), two species that winter north of the Sahara (Song Thrush and Robin) and two with mixed migratory patterns (Blackcap and Chiffchaff).