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Title: Moult and biometrics of Corn buntings in Malta
Authors: Gauci, Charles
Sultana, Joe
Keywords: Birds -- Anatomy
Birds -- Malta
Buntings (Birds) -- Malta
Issue Date: 1983
Publisher: Malta Ornithological Society
Citation: Gauci, C., & Sultana, J. (1983). Moult and biometrics of Corn buntings in Malta. Il-Merill, 22, 12-16.
Abstract: Corn Buntings Miliaria calandra are rather difficult birds to capture by mist-netting. The terrain which they frequent is usually exposed providing no cover to the nets. Even when they are netted many birds fly out of the small mesh nets employed in Malta. While in England relatively large numbers have been captured in winter, either at roosts or during hard weather, in Malta the best trapping time is in June, July and August when Corn Buntings congregate near water-holes to drink. At this time of year Corn Buntings, both adults and birds of the year, are in moult and 53 moult cards have been fitted between 1977 and 1981. Most birds were caught at Wied il-Luq, Buskett on hot days with low humidity when dew was absent. On such occasions birds started arrlving about half an hour after sunrise. Corn Buntings are always very wary and catches were always very small -usually one to four birds, occasionally six. Much fewer birds have been caught at other times of the year but in 1980, 34 Corn Buntings were caught at Ghadira between mid-September and mid-November when the birds appeared to be feeding on the seeds of Salsola soda. Most birds caught had their wing Length measured (maximum chord) to the nearest 0.5mm and were weighed to the nearest 0.1 g on Pesola balances. Most wlng lengths have been recorded by four ringers and a few short-term retraps indicate a degree of accuracy in measurement to within 1mm. Moult was recorded in the standard way.
Appears in Collections:Il-Merill : issue 22 : 1981-83
Il-Merill : issue 22 : 1981-83

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