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Newsletter May 2019 3


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The Society produces a list of all the birds that can be seen in Andalucia and it is constantly reviewed and kept up to date.  An important aspect of recording bird sighting information is the consistency of the data, especially bird names.  Therefore, the only bird names that are accepted in the database are those on the Societies list.

To assist the bird-sighting recorder with an easy reference to check a bird name an alphabetical look-up version of the list is provided.

Breeding Status Codes
rB = Resident  Breeding Specie
mB = Migratory Breeding Specie
rmB = Resident Breeding Species with a small number of migratory
mrB = Migratory Breeding Species with a small number of Residents
A qualifier may be attached
1 = Very abundant > 100.000 pairs
2 = Abundant > 10.000 pairs
3 = Fairly Abundant > 5.000 pairs
4 = Fairly Scarse > 1.000 pairs
5 = Scarse or Local > 100 pairs
6 = Very Scarse or Very Local > 30 pairs
7 = Rare < 30 pairs
Other Status Codes
S = Summer visitor
W = Winter visitor
P = Passage visitor
To these Status Codes the same qualifier may be added as those of the Breeding Status Codes but the estimates refer to the number of birds not pairs.
V = Vagrant
A qualifier may be attached as follows:
*Annual vagrant in some numbers
**Only a few records in a year of most years
***Only one or few vagrants per decade

E = All records thought to involve escapes from captivity

R = All records that are listed on the ABS Rarities List



View full screen or download the Pdf file of the Andalucía bird list or download the list as an Excel file.

This version of the list also provides a coded Status column, which provides information about whether the bird breeds in Andalucia, its abundance and its movement.  The abundance information will take time to complete and the list will be updated as we do so.  An explanation of the Status code is provided with the list.  A fuller explanation of movement is also provided below.

View or download the Status Codes

Migratory Movement – Migratory movement of bird populations occur due to changes of habitat brought about by the changes of seasons, which cause birds to move to locations where food is more easily obtainable and where the climate is more to their liking.
In Andalucia there are a lot of different types of movement of species due to its unique position on a major migration path.  We have resident breeding species, migratory breeding species, migratory non-breeding species, species that only visit Andalucia in winter, species that only visit Andalucia on passage as they travel to or from Africa, Sea bird species that migrate between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic and Vagrants that visit Andalucia in small numbers annually or on rarer occasions.

It is useful to look at each of these different types of movement in more detail as follows.

Resident breeding species – Most resident breeding species remain in Andalucia for the breeding and non-breeding seasons.  The species that are in this category are identified in the Status column of the Bird List with R.  In most cases though, there is some movement within Andalucia that takes place before the start and after the end of the breeding season.  This usually involves birds moving from higher altitudes to lower altitudes at the end of the season and the reverse at the start of the season.
A small number of some of the resident breeding species do migrate to Africa for the non-breeding season and these species are identified in the Status column of the Bird List with rmB.

Migratory breeding species – Most of the migratory breeding species travel to Africa for the non-breeding season and they are identified in the Status column of the Bird List as mB.  However, a small number of these species do remain in Andalucia during the non-breeding season.  In some of these cases they do move from their breeding location to another location for the non-breeding season.  The species that are in this category are identified in the Status column of the Bird List as mrB

Migratory non-breeding species – During the breeding season migratory, non-breeding birds visit Andalucia.  These are usually immature birds.  They are identified in the Bird List as S.

Winter Visitors – These are species that move from northern Spain or other countries in northern Europe to Andalucia where they remain for the non-breeding season and return after the non-breeding season has ended.  These species are identified in the Status column of the Bird List as W.

Passage Visitors – These are species that pass through Andalucia at the end of the breeding season (Autumn or post nuptial migration) on their way to Africa or at the beginning of the breeding season (Spring or pre-nuptial migration) on their way back from Africa.  Some species are seen passing through during both migration periods but often a species is only seen in one of the migration periods.  These species are identified in the Status column of the Bird List as P.

Sea bird Migrants – Whereas most species migrate on a north/south or south/north movement, migrating sea birds migrate on an east/west or west/east movement as they move from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic and back.  These species are not identified separately and are therefore identified in the Status column of the Bird List as P.

Vagrants – The movement of species that we refer to as vagrants is usually due to climatic conditions that cause a bird to be in a place it is not usually seen.  Some vagrants are seen regularly but in small numbers and are either species that are migrating and have been caused to move out of what is regarded as their normal population zone during the migration process or they are a species that is expanding their normal population zone and sometimes attempts to breed in Andalucia, which is regarded as being outside its normal population zone.
Other vagrants are seen spasmodically and very rarely and these are species that have encountered severe climatic conditions that have caused them to be completely outside their normal population zone.  Examples of these are birds that have crossed the Atlantic from North America to Europe.  Species regarded as Vagrants are identified in the Status column of the Bird List as V.

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