Seasonal migrations are an important stage in the annual life cycle of birds. They are characteristic for most species of Ukrainian birds of prey. However by the present time migratory routes and sites of mass concentrations are still poor known. Except for scientific importance this knowledge is essential for planning and organization of conservation of birds of prey. Also, sites of mass migration are of obvious interest for all birdwatchers.
Nowadays, the majority of migrants in Ukraine is considered to pass the country by a wide front, though with the reservation accepted that migrations pass not evenly everywhere but mainly follow “ecological routes”, or, at least, ecologically favorable places (Sevastyanov 1992). Therefore migration of birds of prey can be observed over all the territory of Ukraine. However its intensity differs in different regions and separate places.
There are several reasons of it. Birds with specific trophism (the Osprey, White-tailed Eagle) have to keep usual habitats, and for them migratory “corridors” are expressed more distinctly. Thus, the White-tailed Eagle and Osprey in Ukraine can be much more often met along the Dnieper and other large rivers. However even for these species a part of individuals flies during migration time over all the territory of Ukraine.
The more eurytropic are migrants in terms of their trophism, the more similar to the continuous is their migration front. Thus, the majority of birds of prey pass the country in a broad front. The narrowing of their front of migration is caused by landscape or weather and climate barriers.
To analyze the intensity of migration of birds of prey in the territory of Ukraine we have used the data on the maximum number of the individuals met for one day at one observation point during autumn migration (picture).
Despite small quantity of the data, results confirm that the migration goes by a broad front. Essential influence on the migration intensity is caused everywhere by weather conditions. In peak days of passage the number of migrants can increase in dozens times.
The Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) is included in the Red Data Book of Ukraine (1994) as a vulnerable species, and has the status of ‘Least Concern’ in the Red List of IUCN/Birdlife (2004). In the new edition of the Red Data Book (in print) it is referred as ‘rare’.
The second half of the 20th century was characterized with a catastrophic decrease of species numbers in all parts of the range especially in the Mediterranean area. As a result in 1980s the Peregrine population in Ukraine reached its minimum equaling to about 15-20 pairs. However already since 1980s the population showed a restoration trend in the Crimea. In the end of the 20th century and in the beginning of the 21st century the increase rate of numbers was rather high (as for such a rare species). This process attracted attention of ornithologists from Ukraine and recently three groups of specialists have published 3 papers, which we present below to download. All of them mutually complete each other and allow to receive quite a full image of the current status of the Peregrine Falcon in Ukraine. The numbers of breeding birds in the Crimea were estimated by V.N. Kucherenko and S.Yu.Kostin (2003) as 50-55 pairs, M.M.Beskaravainy and A.N.Tsvelykh (2009) – about 70 pairs, V.V.Vetrov, S.P.Prokopenko and Yu.V.Milobog (2009) about 105–110 pairs and additive 10-15 pairs in the Carpathians.
We have been carried out the monitoring of Long-legged Buzzard in Mykolaiv area since 2000.
In 2009 8 of 10 traced cases of breeding were successful (one breeding case was informed by Pavlo Panchenko). Reasons of unsuccessful breeding attempts were the following: in one case birds abandoned the nests, probably because of disturbance (the vicinity of Ochakov City); in another case the old nest, existed for many years, turned out to be strongly inclined, and under the tree we discovered a fallen chick in the second downy plumage. We place the chick back to the repaired nest but its further fortune is unknown.
As a part of nests were examined from ground we didn’t always manage to identify the exact number of chicks. In general, the breeding success of the species was average – 2.1 chicks per a successfully breeding pair. One nest contained 4 fledglings, other – 3, all the rest had 1-2 fledglings. One of the nests had 2 chicks and 2 addled eggs. The highest number of chicks had the pair nested near the colony of the spotted sousliks.
According to data of previous years (since 2000), averagely 2.2 fledglings left nests, at this 80% of traced breeding attempts were successful.
Konstantin Redinov, Regional Landscape Park ‘Kinburnska Spit’
SOME RESEARCH DATA ON BIRDS OF PREY FOR THE BREEDING SEASON OF 2009 IN MYKOLAIV REGION, UKRAINE.
Several expeditions of 2009 (April-June) collected some new data on birds of prey in Mykolaiv region. The study area was investigated from the automobile ‘Zhiguli’ and also bicycle. Among the species listed in the Red Data Book of Ukraine (RDBU) we observed Long-legged Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Saker Falcon, Black Kite and Scops Owl (last two species were included in the new edition of RDBU).
Natural reserve ‘Yelanetsky Steppe’. Noticeable changes in the bird fauna of this area were not recorded. Since 2000 there have been known breeding of 3-4 pairs of Long-legged Buzzard (Redinov 2006). In 2009 nests of two pairs were still present in their old breeding sites. The third pair wasn’t found though had bred in 2008. Its nest in 2009 was occupied by a pair of the Goshawks. Two nests of Common Buzzard were discovered. Common Kestrel was not found, although earlier it had bred in small numbers. Numbers of Scops obviously decreased, partly because of deficit of available breeding areas.
In a breeding site of Black Kite, discovered in the vicinity of the reserve in 2000, a pair still bred in 2009.
15-18 September it was held the all-Ukrainian Scientific Conference dedicated to 175-years anniversary of foundation of the Department of Zoology of Kyiv National University named after T.G.Shevchenko. The conference was organized by the Department of Zoology and Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Kaniv Natural Reserve and Ukrainian Union for Bird Conservation. The conference was opened in Kyiv, and scientific sessions took place in Kaniv Natural Reserve. The conference was participated by near 60 scientists of Ukraine as well as representatives from Russia and France.
According to results of the conference the proceedings were published: Zoological science in modern society. Proceedings of the all-Ukrainian Scientific Conference dedicated to 175-years anniversary of foundation of the Department of Zoology of Kyiv National University named after T.G.Shevchenko (15-18 September 2009, Kyiv-Kaniv). Kyiv: Fitosociotsentr, 2009. 532 p. [in Ukrainian]. The proceedings include three publications on birds of prey:
• Bashta, A.-T.V. Current state of owls (Strigiformes) in the western part of Ukraine. Pp. 55-58 [in Ukrainian]
• Godovanets, B.J. Current state and conservation of owls of the Ukrainian Carpathians. Pp. 117-121. [in Ukrainian]
• Domashevsky S.V. Current status of birds of prey in Kiev region. Pp. 158-160. [in Russian]