Biometrics and sub-specific identification of white-spotted Bluethroats (Luscinia svecica cyanecula and L. s. namnetum) during autumn and winter.

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Abstract

Detailed analyses of the biometrics of white-spotted bluethroats captured in the Iberian Peninsula and sub-Saharan Africa show that previous criteria for diagnosing subspecies are inadequate. This deficiency seems to result from feather wear during the breeding period and so new criteria are proposed for the migratory and wintering periods. Foreign recoveries in Portugal indicate that the new criteria work better during these periods but, a small proportion of misidentifications are still likely to occur. As bimodality is shown by biometric traits other than wing length, further refinements should consider the use of multiple traits as well as genetic markers.

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  • Biological Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-315
JournalArdeola
Volume59
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedNo