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Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)

Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona
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262 Spring migration in the western Mediterranean and NW Africa Range The breeding range of the Woodchat Shrike is largely restricted to NW Africa and Mediterranean Europe, and then eastwards to the Caucasus and Iran and with some scattered populations in C Europe and Cyrenaica (Cramp, 1998). Four races are recognized: the nomi- nate senator inhabiting most of the mainland Europe; rutilans from Iberia and NW Africa; badius endemic to the Balearic Islands, Sardinia and Corsica; and niloticus in Cyprus and Levant and eastwards (Cramp, 1998; Harris & Franklin, 2000). Compared to the nominate race, rutilans is distinctly smaller, while badius is slightly larger (Cramp, 1998; own data). Except for a few birds wintering in SW Arabia, all populations winter in sub- Saharan Africa, north of the equator as far as the Sahel; western races winter eastwards to the extreme west of Sudan (Cramp, 1998). This shrike breeds in the study area, but at the spe- cific ringing sites only on the Balearics at all sites except the smallest islands (L’Illa de l’Aire, Colom, Cabrera and Conillera) and very locally at Els Aiguamolls. Even at these ringing sites, the vast majority of captures are of non-local migrants. Migratory route The few recaptures available suggest that the main movements follow a SW-NE direction (fig. 1). Two direct recoveries consist of one bird breeding on Menorca cap- tured on Cabrera 39 days before and another ringed in the Ebro delta and recovered 11 days later in S France. Another recovery suggests some inter-annual variability in migratory routes, since it was ringed in Mallorca in one spring and then in Tunisia in the next. The spring migration of western populations take places further to the east and is thus more direct than in autumn (Zink, 1975; Cramp, 1998). In the C Mediterranean, in spring birds move much more in a due N direction, using a somewhat more westward route in spring than in au- tumn (Spina & Volpini, 2008). In NW Africa, this species

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