Results of counts of birds of prey in the Zdvyzh

To investigate distribution and numbers of birds of prey in Polissia we have recently completed studies in the Zdvyzh river valley.

The river of Zdvizh is a right tributary of the Teteriv River (the Dnieper Basin). Its source is in Brusyliv district of Zhytomyr region. Further river crosses Makarivka, Borodianka and Ivankiv districts of Kyiv region. The length of the river is 145 km. The valley is trapezoidal, the width equals up to 4 km. The floodplain in the upper reaches is boggy with width up to 1 km. The riverbed is moderately winding, up to 20 m wide. Two reservoirs and a network of ponds have been built to regulate the water flow. The river is canalized for a long distance.

Works to study birds of prey in the Zdvyzh valley were started in 2006. Investigations were carried out by point counts. The observers spent 1 hour or more at observation points. The distance between points of observation ranged 3 or more km, depending on the possibility of a convenient entrance to them by car. It was worked out 27 points. According to the methodology, all species of birds of prey were registered, the data put on the map with a scale of 1:200000. Thus, we have examined all the river length.
As the river valley is visited for hunting by many species of birds of prey nesting in the nearby forests, such registrations can give interesting results. It was observed 6 species of raptors listed in the Red Data Book of Ukraine.

In total we recorded 13 species of birds of prey in the following numbers (pairs): Honey Buzzard − 4; Black Kite − 2; Common Buzzard − 54; Marsh Harrier− 23; Montagu’s Harrier − 19; Goshawk − 4; Sparrowhawk − 2; Short-toed Eagle − 5−6; Lesser Spotted Eagle − 11; White-tailed Eagle − 1; Common Kestrel − 6; Hobby Falcon − 9.

Thus, the Buzzard dominated among birds of prey. It should be noted a sufficiently high number of Montagu’s Harrier and Lesser Spotted Eagle, included in the Red Data Book of Ukraine.
Also of interest is a record of one individual of the Long-legged Buzzard at the source of the river (Brusyliv district of Zhytomyr region). The type of stay of this species is unknown.

Sergey Domashevsky, Vasily Kostyushin, Konstantin Pysmennyi

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