We used updated national population sizes and their recent trends (9), benefitting also from the recent reporting of EU members on Article 12 of the Birds Directive. Further updates were necessary not only for non-EU members but also for Poland, which previously published erroneous figures [see the Supplementary Materials and (1922)]. We combined these national population sizes with data on isotopic and genetic flyway assignments to estimate the total numbers of individuals using each flyway. For routes along the western flyway, we proposed three scenarios based on the proportions of logger-equipped males of each country using the Atlantic or the Mediterranean route (see the Supplementary Materials and data file S1). Field work included capturing males on their breeding territories, sampling one tail feather and three to six body coverts (scapulars), and equipping a sample of males with light loggers. We used DNA extracted from bases of tail feathers to characterize the genetic structure of the breeding European populations. Body coverts molt twice a year, first during the complete summer premigration molt and then during the winter before spring migration. Hence, breeding birds have body coverts grown on their winter molting grounds so that the deuterium concentration in these spring body feathers was used to assign breeding individuals to potential wintering grounds.

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