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Bluethroat (1 Viewer)

Pavel

Well-known member
Does L. svecica svecica occur in Scandinavia only? Belarus seams to hold 3 different forms. This picture was taken yesterday, 5 April, in North-East Bulgaria. Which population it would belong to?
Also, what is the difference between svecica and volgae or even pallidogularis from Kazakhstan?
Thanks!
Pavel
 

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Richard Klim

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Collar 2005 (HBW 10):
ibc.lynxeds.com/species/bluethroat-luscinia-svecica

BWP:
Bluethroat Luscinia svecica

Nominate svecica (Linnaeus, 1758) (synonyms gaetkei, robusta), Scandinavia east through northern Siberia to western Alaska, south to c. 60°N in European USSR, to c. 57°N in western Siberia, to Altai and Sayan mountains in central Siberia, and to c. 55°N along shores of Sea of Okhotsk, also some isolated populations in mountains of central Europe; namnetum Mayaud, 1934, western France; cyanecula (Meisner, 1804), central Europe from eastern and northern France and Netherlands east to Carpathian basin, north-west Ukraine, Smolensk, and Leningrad (USSR), also Spain; volgae (Kleinschmidt, 1907), central European USSR from north-east Ukraine north to c. 57°N and east to middle Volga river, intergrading with cyanecula in west and with nominate svecica further north; pallidogularis (Zarudny, 1897) (synonyms saturatior, altaica), south-east European USSR (east from Volga) and lowland steppes of south-west Siberia south to Turkmeniya, east to foothills of Altai mountains and upper Yenisey, intergrading with volgae in west and with nominate svecica in north and east; magna (Zarudny and Loudon, 1904), Caucasus area, eastern Turkey, and Iran. Extralimital: tianschanica (Tugarinov, 1929), Pamir and Tien Shan mountains; 3 further races in central Asia and western Himalayas.

Geographical variation
Marked and complex; much individual variation locally, especially in apparent zones of secondary intergradation, such as central European USSR where cyanecula meets pallidogularis; also, clinal gradation from pallidogularis towards north and north-east into nominate svecica, towards south into tianschanica, and towards south-east into pale Mongolian races; large magna from Caucasus area, eastern Turkey, and Iran and small but long-billed race from western Himalayas are more isolated and distinct, though latter shows zone of apparently secondary intergradation into tianschanica in Kashmir and western Kun Lun mountains. L. s. cyanecula from Belgium and eastern France east to Carpathians and approximately to Smolensk, Novgorod, and Leningrad in western USSR is rather large, and ♂ has rounded silky-white spot or short bar on lower throat in breeding plumage, only rarely absent (see Plumages). L. s. namnetum from western France similar, but smaller in size (see Measurements). Birds from mountains of northern and central Spain (Witherby 1928; Ern 1966; Schmidt 1970) usually included in cyanecula, but in fact intermediate between this race and similarly isolated southern mountain race magna from Caucasus area or even nearer latter: large in size (see Measurements) and throat-spot often absent; of 7 ♂♂ examined, 2 had small white bar like cyanecula, 3 had limited amount of white concealed under blue, and 2 had no white at all (BMNH); of 17 birds seen in the field, 12 fully blue, 3 had white spot, and 2 a large reddish-buff spot (Corley Smith and Bernis 1956). L. s. magna from Caucasus and eastern Turkey to Iran large (see Measurements), throat of breeding ♂ entirely blue or with some concealed white, occasionally with small white spot; ♀ and non-breeding plumages inseparable from cyanecula, except for size. Birds east from Ukraine, Smolensk, Novgorod, and Leningrad through plains of USSR south of c. 60°N to Tien Shan, Mongolia, and west of Lake Baykal are generally smaller than populations further north and west; many races described from this area, differing only slightly in general colour, and situation not fully established (for contrasting opinions see, e.g., Kozlova 1945, Vaurie 1959, Stepanyan 1978a); of these southern birds, pallidogularis (synonyms saturatior, altaica) is a well-marked race, occurring from Volga and Turkmeniya east to Altai and upper Yenisey; breeding ♂ has lower cheeks, chin, and throat glossy pale cerulean-blue (much paler than in cyanecula) and spot on lower throat rufous-cinnamon, shaped as a large broad bar or broadly triangular spot; rufous breast-band rather narrow and pale; upperparts, sides of breast, and flanks paler brownish-grey, less drab-brown; ♀ and non-breeding plumages paler on upperparts and with narrower black malar stripe and narrower black band across upper chest. Area from Ukraine and central European USSR east to Volga, between ranges of pallidogularis and cyanecula, inhabited by highly variable volgae: throat of breeding ♂ deep blue and spot on lower throat small, like cyanecula, but spot rufous with narrow white border all round or on lower edge only, more rarely fully white or rufous (spot paler rufous and smaller than in nominate svecica); rufous breast-band rather narrow; ♀ and non-breeding plumages inseparable from cyanecula. Northern Eurasia and Alaska inhabited by nominate svecica, which intergrades with cyanecula, volgae, and pallidogularis within a zone from Leningrad eastwards along c. 60°N. Nominate svecica (synonyms gaetkei, robusta) characterized by large and rather triangular deep rufous throat-spot in breeding ♂ (not a narrower bar or more rounded spot as in most southern races); no constant difference from cyanecula in colour of upperparts or depth of blue on throat. ♀ and non-breeding plumages generally indistinguishable from cyanecula except sometimes when series of skins compared: malar stripe of ♀ cyanecula averages heavier and black band across upper chest broader than in ♀ nominate svecica (throat- spot either white or rufous in both races); adult ♂ non-breeding cyanecula has lower throat usually silky-white with narrow rufous feather-tips, nominate svecica more cream-white with slightly broader rufous tips. Isolated populations of red-spotted birds occur in mountains of central Europe within range of cyanecula (Krösche 1979; Vit 1979; Wartmann 1980; Müller 1982); these apparently glacial relicts of nominate svecica.
 
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Pavel

Well-known member
Thanks a lot!
So, I didn't really understand what population our bird is belonging to?
 

Pavel

Well-known member
Thanks a lot Richard. It is very helpful explanation for me!
Greetings,
Pavel Simeonov
 

Jacana

Will Jones
Hungary
Silje Hogner, Terje Laskemoen, Jan T. Lifjeld, Václav Pavel, Bohumír Chutný, Javier García, Marie-Christine Eybert, Ekaterina Matsyna, Arild Johnsen (2013) Rapid sperm evolution in the bluethroat (Luscinia svecica) subspecies complex Behavioural Biology and Sociobiology

Shows support for azuricollis and question the validity of volgae as subspecies.

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00265-013-1548-z
 

Peter Kovalik

Well-known member
Slovakia
Silje Hogner, Terje Laskemoen, Jan T. Lifjeld, Václav Pavel, Bohumír Chutný, Javier García, Marie-Christine Eybert, Ekaterina Matsyna, Arild Johnsen (2013) Rapid sperm evolution in the bluethroat (Luscinia svecica) subspecies complex Behavioural Biology and Sociobiology

Shows support for azuricollis and question the validity of volgae as subspecies.

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00265-013-1548-z

Full text of this article here
 

Richard Klim

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Volgae

Matsyna. Analysis of colour variability in the Bluethroat subspecies Luscinia svecica volgae (Z). 26th IOC, Tokyo, 2014.
The Bluethroat is a polytypic and polymorphic passerine bird distributed in the North Palaearctic. Males have a variable colour throat patch on the bright blue bib. The colour of the spot varies according to the subspecies: chestnut (svecica), white (cyanecula), chestnut and white mix (volgae) or absence of the spot. It is supposed that the colour of the spot plays an important role in the mating system. Sexual selection is believed to be strong for this species, considering the variance in this secondary sexual male trait, the strong mate guarding by males of this species, and mating behaviour - when the male demonstrates his spot to the female. The distribution of the subspecies volgae is located between the cyanecula and svecica zones of distribution. Both colour morphs and all possible intermediate combinations of bib colours can be found here. Genetic investigations showed that the volgae subspecies manifests itself as an intermediate form. Analysis of sperm morphology in the Bluethroat also revealed its intermediate position between cyanecula and svecica. It is expected that the original forms (svecica and cyanecula) are also present in small numbers in the population. However significant differences in measurements were not detected. Some specific preferences in biotopes for red and white morphs were found. We revealed that evident sexual selection is absent in the population of the volgae subspecies. Females can choose males with different spot colour in different years. High levels of polygamy and extra-pair paternity were found in the studied population. All these forward the process of intergradation between different colour forms.
 

Richard Klim

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svecica migration

Lislevand, Chutný, Byrkjedal, Pavel, Briedis, Adamik & Hahn (in press). Red-spotted Bluethroats Luscinia s. svecica migrate along the Indo-European flyway: a geolocator study. Bird Study. [abstract] [pdf]
 

jurek

Well-known member
I always wondered, if there are isolated populations of svecica deep inside the range of cyanecula, in the mountains of C Europe, eg. Sudetes and Carpathians, how does it affect the whole subspecies/species situation?
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
I always wondered, if there are isolated populations of svecica deep inside the range of cyanecula, in the mountains of C Europe, eg. Sudetes and Carpathians, how does it affect the whole subspecies/species situation?
Kept separate by habitat preference, and likely also arrival / breeding time. For passage birds in Britain, L. s. cyanecula typically arrive a month earlier than L. s. svecica - not surprising with L. s. cyanecula breeding in temperate lowland reedbeds and L. s. svecica breeding in arctic-alpine scrub still covered in thick snow when L. s. cyanecula arrive.
 

bittern

Well-known member
svecica does breed in very small numbers in the mountains of Switzerland

Kept separate by habitat preference, and likely also arrival / breeding time. For passage birds in Britain, L. s. cyanecula typically arrive a month earlier than L. s. svecica - not surprising with L. s. cyanecula breeding in temperate lowland reedbeds and L. s. svecica breeding in arctic-alpine scrub still covered in thick snow when L. s. cyanecula arrive.

The red-spotted svecica breeds in small numbers in the mountains of Switzerland and presumably elsewhere in the Alps.

Mike
 

Richard Klim

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cyanecula wintering in SE Iberia

Peiró & Pagani-Núñez (in press). Plumage colouration variability of male Bluethroats (Luscinia svecica cyanecula) wintering in SE Iberia. Ornis Fennica 93. [pdf]
 

MJB

Well-known member
Peiró & Pagani-Núñez (in press). Plumage colouration variability of male Bluethroats (Luscinia svecica cyanecula) wintering in SE Iberia. Ornis Fennica 93. [pdf]

I like the care they took to avoid namnetum individuals, but I'm guessing that they didn't have enough namnetum samples to carry out a comparison study...

An interesting addition to the complex jigsaw of Bluethroat plumage similarities and differences that may inform how well breeding populations' plumages are consistent or variable or whether any consistency exists across all subspecies...

I note that colour rings can influence female Bluethroats' mate selection. Could this phenomenon be more widespread but so far any significance has not been evaluated?
MJB
 

Richard Klim

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Arizaga et al

Arizaga, van Wilgenburg, Alonso, Cortés, Leconte, Rguibi, Valkenburg, Vera & Hobson (in press). Breeding origins and pattern of migration of Bluethroats Luscinia svecica wintering from Iberia to Senegal as revealed by stable isotopes. Bird Study. [abstract]
 

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