Studies of birds of prey in the alienated zone of Chornobyl atomic power station, continued in May 2012Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 Posted in Fauna, Field researches, Photos | 1 Comment »
Prior studies in the CAPS alienated zone were provided by us in the first and second decades of April 2012. That time we did night census of owls and in the daylight searched for nests of birds of prey in special distinguished parts of forest areas. From 21 to 27 May we undertook the second expedition.
Photo: S. Domashevsky, S. Gashchak
In the morning hours expedition participants carried bird censuses along transects, during the daytime checked occupation of raptor’s nests which had been found in April.
First sites of forests and meadows we investigated in Tolstolesivske Forestry. There were surveyed 9 nests of feathery raptors, of them only 2 were occupied by birds. One nest belonged to the Buzzard, four chicks there; the eldest is about 2 weeks. One of the most impressing finds was an occupied nest of the Spotted Eagle. Obviously, this is a single known case of breeding this species in Kyiv Region for over last 30-40 years. However, this pair of birds were hybrids: female of the Spotted and the male of the Lesser Spotted Eagle. Another luck was discovery of an Eagle Owl’s nest in the place where we had observed an adult bird from a breeding pair on 7 April in the village of Bovishshe. The birds reared chicks in an attic of the small bathhouse which still stand half-flooded by waters of a small rivulet. The brood included 3 chicks (2 females and a male, which was the youngest). The eldest owlet was about 1 month age. The attic roof composed of planks, slits between them about 5 cm wide. The floor was covered with feathers and pieces of bones belonged to the Eagle Owl’s prey. Judging by the state of some feathers and bones, the Eagle Owls nested in the place for at least the second year.