of the 6th International Conference on Birds of Prey and Owls in North Eurasia:
BIRDS OF PREY IN THE DYNAMIC ENVIRONMENT
OF THE THIRD MILLENNIUM:
STATUS AND PROSPECTS
Kryvyi Rih National University
Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine, 27-30 September 2012
27-30 September 2012 Kryvyi Rih National University has held the 6th International Conference on Birds of Prey and Owls in North Eurasia “Birds of Prey in the Dynamic Environment of the Third Millennium: Status and Prospects”. Contributors for conference materials were 164 ornithologists from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Hungary, Finland, Great Britain, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and it was directly attended by 94 ornithologists. Participants included well-known experts from universities, academic institutions, natural reserves and sanctuaries of many North European areas, among them 16 doctors of science and professors. A great portion of attendees constituted young bird experts along with students and post-graduates making a valuable contribution to studies of birds of prey.
Over 40 years has already passed (since 1969) after the total ban for shooting birds of prey in Ukraine. However, in minds of many hunters, birds with the beaks curved down still remains malicious enemies (a desirable trophy, a good target, etc.). As a result, every year a large number of birds of prey are illegally and thoughtlessly exterminated by hunters, and significantly reduce their numbers. Do you think it is an exaggeration? Then read about cases of four Ospreys in Ukraine, happened only during the autumn of 2011.
Episode 1. In the first decade of October in Ripki district (Chernyhiv region) local people picked up a wounded Osprey. The bird couldn’t fly and was given to Mensky Zoo (some information can be read here).
Episode 2. On 23 September a Lviv ornithologist A.A.Bokotey (personal communication) during bird counts at fishponds near the village Babin Serednii (Kalush district of Ivano-Frankivsk region) found remains of the Osprey, shot by hunters 3-4 weeks earlier. The bird had a ring, showing that it was marked in Finland.
Technique on attracting small birds of prey for breeding on the territory of Regional Landscape Park “Mezhrechenskii”Tuesday, June 8th, 2010 Posted in Misc, Photos | No Comments »
In spring 2010 we started works to attract birds of prey in artificial nests on the territory of RLP “Mezhrechenskii” located in Kozelets and Chernihiv districts of Chernihiv region.
As nesting platforms we used old wicker baskets, some of which had previously been repaired. Installed baskets are substitutes for natural nests of Corvidae, readily populated by those species of birds of prey, who themselves do not build their nests. Baskets were filled with forest litter with a small admixture of soil. Installed nests were fixed with wire.
Sites for nests installation were selected in the forests near open areas, which are most preferred habitats of Long-eared Owls and two species of small falcons: Hobby Falcon and Kestrel. To do this, we also have mounted nests in the Desna floodplain. For successful occupation of baskets by small falcons we placed them in the top of the crown, for Long-eared Owls location of a nest on the tree was unprincipled.
In future, to attract birds of prey in the park, we plan to increase the number of installed artificial nests for both diurnal and nocturnal raptors.
EXPERIENCE OF ATTRACTION OF TAWNY OWLS TO ARTIFICIAL NESTS IN KHARKIV REGION
Attraction of some species for breeding often allows to increase their numbers. These actions can be performed by everyone for bird conservation. In addition, it is a unique opportunity to monitor populations of nocturnal species. Ukraine still has gained quite a small experience in the attraction of the Tawny Owls for breeding. That is exactly the reason why we introduce this material.
In the late 1970s – early 1980s, students of the biological faculty of Kharkiv University organized year-round observations at the biological station in Haidary Village. They were engaged in bird ringing, hung log houses and studied the biology of different species of flycatchers; manufactured and installed nest boxes for the Tawny Owl. By 1979 the number of the latter reached 55. They were of different designs – like boarded birdhouses and those hollowed out of logs. Although at that time in the upland oak-grove of Homolsha Forests there were enough trees with natural cavities, owls occupied nest boxes with a fair success. Works on the attraction of the Tawny Owl and study of their ecology at that time were led by Ihor Prisada.
In field practice, we repeatedly had to deal with cases of predation by martens in the nests of certain species of birds of prey. In some cases, not only clutches were destroyed and chicks were killed, but also adult birds such as the Common Buzzard. Most frequently these are small birds of prey which are subjected to predation press by mustelids (small falcons, the Sparrowhawk, Long-eared Owl). It is especially unpleasant when martens ruin nests of rare species of birds of prey.
In our practice there was a case where the marten killed on the nest a large chick of the Short-toed Eagle in the age of 6-7 weeks. Therefore, in Chernihiv region in the Regional Landscape Park “Mezhrechenskii” there have been taken measures to protect two trees for one nesting pair of the Short-toed Eagles from attacks of the marten. It is the pair of raptors which lost their chick in 2008. In addition, during regular felling in breeding territory, the certain kind of nesting trees should be specially protected from terrestrial predators: the nesting trees which are easily accessible but selected by the Short-toed Eagle in the areas unsuitable for cutting forest. In this way we increase the probability of the annual use of these trees by birds, thereby reducing human disturbance on reproductive success.
Installing protection against terrestrial predators is also justified in cases of special studies related to the need to visit occupied nests of birds of prey (Galushin, Kostin 2008).
In spite of great ornithologists’ interest, Ukrainian birds of prey still remain a poor studied group. Due to changes in distribution and numbers, status of many raptor species has changed in many regions and is actually unknown. As a consequence, the ornithologists often rely on data from former researches, which now don’t correspond to real situation.
«Blank spots», and as a result, the most designing issues in the present status of Ukrainian birds of prey are:
• Species breeding:
− Osprey (Pandion haliaetus);
− Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus);
− Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga);
− Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos);
− Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni).
• Reliable data about accidental flights:
− Red Kite (Milvus milvus),
− Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus);
− Snowy Owl (Nyctea scandiaca);
− Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula).
It is also still unknown if the following wintering species are resident or not: long-legged Buzzard, Buzzard, Imperial Eagle, Saker, Kestrel, Long-eared Owl and others.
The material, presented by us, is based on the data for the last decade. It shows nowadays status of raptors.
Vetrov V.V., Gavrilyuk M.N., Domashevsky S.V., Milobog Yu.V, with some consultations of Prokopenko S.P.
Compilers will be grateful for any information, specifying data on Ukrainian birds of prey status presented in the table, especially if it concerns particular regions. Everyone having such data is requested to send them by e-mail email@example.com or by direct authors’ e-mails .