Friday, 14 October 2011

Wheatears on the move

Garden BirdWatch Ken Humphries dropped us an email to let us know about this unfortunate Wheatear that flew into a window in Ocle Pychard, Hereford.

The Wheatears passing through England during autumn migration are heading to wintering grounds in sub-Saharan Africa. These birds are drawn from both the European breeding population and the one that includes birds from Canada and Greenland, identifiable on structural characteristics as being a different race, known as leucorhoa. Birds from Canada and Greenland do not begin their autumn migration until August and it is these birds that tend to dominate during the later weeks of the passage through England. Some idea of the migration patterns of Wheatears can be seen from BirdTrack records.

The migration routes of Wheatears have been revealed through bird ringing. This map is taken from Time to Fly, a BTO publication.

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