The March Project

The main goal of the March project is to collect data about bird migration in March, migration peaks of different species (i.e. robin, red bunting, chiffchaff and dunnock), different migration patterns depending on sex, age and if repeated yearly – about population size or fluctuations. To do so, the methods should be executed as uninfluenced as possible with a maximum of variables registered.  


To guarantee data independency and to maintain a certain methology, data for the project will be collected on 16 days, spread over the month March. On these days exactly the same nets will be opened at two different daytimes, either at morning or in the evening. Variables to register are among others weather conditions (precipitation, temperature & wind), time of capture, net number and bird parameters like fat, muscle, age, sex, species, weight and length of the primaries. To illustrate the importance of tape luring for catching birds, the speakers will be turned on at fifty per cent of the project time with the same sound playing.


Additionally there will be a focus on the reed bunting Emberiza schoeniclus. Data collected of reed buntings will be further evaluated; analysis will also cover topics such as the sex or age and wing length or bill depth relationship. A potential hypothesis will concern the morphometric divergence of resident and passing reed buntings concerning wing length.


The project is created by Max Steinmetz, a student in Forestry and Nature Conservation at the University of Freiburg, coordinated by the according Institute of Wildlife Management and of course guided and supported by the Ringing Team of the Schlammwiss.