Some observations of breeding European Stonechats in Cumbria

Published on 03 November 2015 in Main articles

A breeding male Stonechat from the Cumbrian study area, photographed in 2015 by Nick Franklin

A breeding male Stonechat from the Cumbrian study area, photographed in 2015 by Nick Franklin

By John Callion

Abstract A long-term study of European Stonechats Saxicola rubicola in western Cumbria is summarised. Observations of incubating females revealed some hitherto unknown behavioural patterns, indicating the state of incubation by the readiness of the female to return to incubate. Results from colour-ringing have shown that some juveniles travel over 40 km to form small groups during the period of post-juvenile moult. Some siblings have been discovered to have different migration strategies, and the evidence suggests that an individual retains a particular migratory pattern for life.

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