Monday 24 June 2013


Author: Hugo J. Gómez-Tejedor Alonso (GIA-Extremadura). 
Translated by Martin Kelsey.

During a day’s ringing as part of the PASAR scheme by GIA-Extremadura, what could be the first breeding Iberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus ibericus) in Extremadura was caught. The bird was mistnetted on 5th June 2013 at the PASER P-5005 station at La Lapa, in the southern-central part of Badajoz province, in shady-slope habitat dominated by woodland of cork oak, holm oak, honeysuckle, strawberry trees and other shrubs. The only regular breeding area for this species in Extremadura is in the south of Badjaoz province, in the Sierra de Tentudia. This new location is a northern extension of the range of the species in the province.

The trapped bird was an adult male, with a marked cloacal protuberance and characteristic plumage of bright green back with yellowish tinges and emargination on the sixth primary, and the second primary the same length as the seventh. The wing length, based on maximum chord was 55.5 mm, using the third primary 44 mm and the tarsus was 19.26 mm. These biometrics, along with weight of 7.4 g are within the species ranges based on observations in Doñana and Cádiz. The closest records to this site are at Burguillos del Cerro. There a male was singing on 21/03/2006 and on 02/04/2006 (Francisco Montaño com. pers.), although on date those records could have been a passage bird instead of a local breeder.

Given the recent split of Iberian Chiffchaff from Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita), the breeding range of the former is not well known in the Iberian Peninsula in general and in Extremadura in particular. Thus this note advances our knowledge of the species in our region.


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