Migrant Landbird Study Group

Promoting collaborative research for migratory landbirds across flyways

Following up on the successful MLSG symposia at EOU2015 in Badajoz, PAOC2016 in Dakar & EOU2017 in Turku, we are ready for another dose of inspiring community-building preceding EOU2019 in Cluj-Napoca on August 24th-25th. The aim of the MLSG is to promote collaborative research to help advance flyway-scale understanding of and conservation actions for migrant landbirds, especially along the African-Eurasian Flyways. We believe knowledge-sharing is essential to achieve this. Thus, during our symposium we will actively engage all attendants to partake in a dynamic program of presentations, workshops and group discussions.

Program (more details will follow)

Saturday – August 24th

08:45   –   09:00     Arrival and welcome by MLSG

09:00   –   10:20      Keynote lectures session 1:

  • Luitzen Santman - The flyway conservation programme of VBN/BirdLife
  • Carles Carboneras  – Conserving the Turtle Dove across the Flyway

10:20   –   11:00      Coffee

11:00   –   12:40      Keynote lectures session 2:

  • Wieland Heim - Bird migration along the Asian flyways
  • Sissel Sjöberg - Flight behaviour in individual songbirds throughout the migration

 12:40  –   14:00      Lunch

14:00   –   14:45      Plenary: Malcolm Burgess – Diagnosing causes of decline through technology, citizen science and old fashioned fieldwork' 

14:45   –   17:00      Parallel sessions (with coffee break)

  • Workshop 1 Geolocators – maximising data recovery, analyses roadmap and ways to illustrate your data to make the most of it. Led by Martin Briedis & Simon Lisovski, Swiss Ornithological Institute, Sempach
  • Workshop 2 Remote Sensing – data availability, ground truthing and new ways to combine it efficiently with your bird data. Led by Alison Beresford RSPB.
  • Workshop 3 Non-breeding ecology of migrants in Africa – what we know and what we don’t and how to address this in terms of practical future field studies in Africa. Led by Janne Ouuwehand, University of Groningen
  • Species Working Group meetings (as per participant request – an opportunity for any species working groups (e.g. last conference it was whinchats and turtle doves) to convene a meeting. If you plan to convene a Species Working Group meeting on Saturday, please contact the organizing committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can reserve a space for you.

17:00 – 18:00       Synopsis from each of the parallel workshop sessions back to the whole conference

18:00 – 20:00        Drinks (venue to be announced)


Sunday – August 25th

09:00   –   10:15      Speed talks 1 (open to all participants, in case we cannot meet demand we will prioritize young researchers and researchers from low-income countries)

10:15    –   11:00      Coffee

11:00    –   12:30      Speed talks 2

12:30    –   14:00      Lunch

14:00   –   15:15      Keynote lectures session 3:

  • Sola Iwajomo: Intra-african migration
  • Flavio Monti – TBC

15:15   –   15:45      Coffee

15:45   –   16:15     General discussion: Differences across global flyways?

16:15   –   16:45     Group discussions – identifying priorities in landbird research – are there regional differences?

16:45   –   17:15      Group discussions reporting back to the whole conference

17:15   –   17:45      MLSG meeting: state of affairs, future prospects and new ExCo members


Costs and Registration

Members, students and participants from low-income countries 35 EUR
Other non-members 50 EUR

Price includes participation in the symposium and coffee breaks. There are several restaurants (4-10 EUR/lunch) close to the venue. If you are not an MLSG member yet, you can apply for membership at and profit from the membership rates. Registration, talk submission (we hope that all participants, especially new researchers, will do a speed talk to achieve the networking aims of the MLSG). We are expecting everyone will do a short introduction to their question, species studied and who they are. If you are not happy with giving a talk please indicate on registration. If we have space we will timetable everyone for a speed talk; if not we will prioritise early career researchers and those that have submitted a title. Payment for the symposium will be possible from March 15th 2019 onwards through the EOU registration website:  


During registration for the EOU conference you will be able to book accommodation for the MLSG symposium as well.  Most important thing is to get to Cluj-Napoca for Friday night August 23rd so you will be there for the weekend pre-conference symposium.

We are looking forward to meeting you in Cluj-Napoca this summer!

Kind regards,
The MLSG ExCo 

Wieland Heim, Janne Ouwehand, Ivan Maggini, Carles Carboneras, , Rien van Wijk, Lykke Pedersen, Samuel Temidayo Osinubi, Will Cresswell and Wouter Vansteelant

A PDF of this announcement can be found here

13 - 16 December, Gdansk, Poland

Across the globe migrant birds are confronted by and adapt to climate change and effects of human development during various stages of their life cycles. Afro-Palearctic migrants can serve as indicators of the effects of climate change across Europe and in Africa. While migrant birds know no borders, their continued existence depends on international collaboration of scientists and conservationists. Therefore, we gather in Gdansk as bird researchers from Europe and Africa, to share knowledge, discuss our concerns and explore potential solutions. We aim to generate a better understanding of issues relating to the conservation of migrant birds, as well as to set up collaborative projects on migrant landbird research.

Following up on the successful MLSG symposia at EOU2015 in Badajoz and PAOC2016 in Dakar, we are ready for another dose of inspiring community-building preceding EOU2017 in Turku from August 17th-18th.

The MLSG hopes to have a presence at the 14th Pan African Ornithological Congress to be held in Dakar, Senegal 17-21st October, 2016.

An invitation to submit proposals for symposia has been circulated. Symposia provide the organisational structure for the PAOC and highlight topical and important themes within the overarching theme of African Ornithology. They should provide fora for a wide representation of ornithologists to discuss and synthesize the latest developments in the field.

EOU logo

Over 90 people attended the MLSG satellite symposium on the day before the start of the full EOU conference. The meeting started with Danae Sheehan, the Chair of the MLSG welcoming everyone and outlining the rationale behind the meeting and the MLSG. As it says on the strap-line: the meeting was to connect research and conservation workers across the flyway.

MLSG pressefotoFrom 26-28 March 2014 in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, ~35 people from different countries, institutes and different backgrounds (research, conservation, policy) came together to discuss the current status of research on migrating landbirds within the Eurasia-African flyway. The initiative to create the Migrant Landbird Study Group (MLSG) first was brought up following the action plan proposed for the AEMLAP project under the umbrella of the Convention on Migratory Species.

The Migrant Landbird Study Group concept was initiated at a round table discussion at the 9th Conference of the European Ornithologists' Union (EOU) in Norwich, United Kingdom in August 2013.

This open discussion was attended by 50 people and chaired by EOU president Thomas WesoĊ‚owski. Danaë Sheenan (RSPB – BirdLife in the UK) and Bernd de Bruijn (VBN – BirdLife in The Netherlands) provided a brief background of the African-Eurasian Migratory Landbirds Action Plan (AEMLAP) and the resulting increasing importance of related research, as well as a letter from Prof. Franz Bairlein offering to host a first meeting of the MLSG.