The third field season of the project “Study on the Semi-collared Flycatcher (Ficedula semitorquata) in Bulgaria is over
Posted on July 22, 2014
The study is carried out and financed by Swedish ornithologist and researcher Johan Traff and is based on a regular survey of 200 specially designed nest boxes that are placed within the plots of Staro Oriahovo Forestry Service, Regional Forestry Directorate – Varna. During this four-year project the nest boxes, which are used each year by 75 – 105 pairs, are being observed and studied from the arrival of the birds until the young leave the nest boxes.
All the young birds are ringed and closely monitored after hatching until leaving the nest. After the third and fourth breeding seasons some attempts to capture birds with mist nets will be made. The goal is to capture and identify adults and yearlings which have changed their plumage already preparing for the autumn. Individual photographs, biometric data, weight and feather samples will be taken from these birds to identify the key aspects for the differentiation of species of the genus Ficedula and changes due to age and gender. In order to track the migration and establishing the wintering sites for Semi-collared Flycatchers in West Africa, 50 geo-locators were fitted to adult birds the second and third season.
All project results will be presented in a detailed final report.
The main objectives of the project are:
1 / A detailed description of the breeding cycle in the Semi-collared Flycatcher in Bulgaria
2 / Identification of changes in plumage that occur seasonally and with the aging of the birds.
For four years, the project will identify the key factors needed to plan a long-term scientific study of the breeding ecology of the Semi-collared Flycatcher in Bulgaria.
Report containing a description and analysis of the following aspects of the behavior and ecology of the Semi-collared Flycatcher (Ficedula semitorquata) in Bulgaria:
• Description of the plumage and the changes due to age;
• Biometrics to distinguish species from other species of the genus Ficedula;
• Time of arrival in the study area;
• Conduct during mating and breeding season;
• Song and calls;
• Territorial activities;
• Collecting nesting material;
• Time of laying and egg size;
• Size of the clutch;
• Model and intensity of incubation;
• Hatching rate and unfertilized eggs;
• Growth and survival of young birds;
• Model moult after the breeding season;
• movement shortly after leaving the nest;