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Keywords:

  • geolocator;
  • long-distance migration;
  • non-breeding;
  • sub-Saharan Africa;
  • tracking;
  • wing length;
  • woodpecker

European Wrynecks Jynx torquilla torquilla have generally been considered to be long-distance Palaearctic–African migrants that spend the non-breeding season in Sahelian Africa, where they have been reported regularly. Results from tracking individual birds showed that Wrynecks from two Central European populations migrated only relatively short distances to the Iberian Peninsula and northwestern Africa (c. 1500 km and 3000 km, respectively), compared with a minimum distance of about 4500 km to Sahelian Africa. Additionally, differences in wing lengths of populations from Central and Northern Europe support the idea of leap-frog migration, populations from Northern Europe being long-distance migrants with a non-breeding distribution in Sahelian Africa.