Birds’ Section

Especially for those interested in birds’ life, the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve is publishing articles about the most widely-spread and the rarest birds of the Moscow region. The writer, ornithologist and member of scientific department, Ilya Murashev, explains how an important problem in eco-awareness raising is being solved by this approach.

Birds are quite wide-spread, noticeable and diverse wildlife representatives, available for observation in the wild. That is why they always attracted not only experts’ attention, but also general public’s interest. In the western world, birdwatching has long become a very popular hobby. Quite recently this activity has started to gain popularity in our country as well.

Why do people study birds and other animals? Usually because humans constantly need new information, including information about the environment and biological diversity. Having said that, a lot of people consider this activity practically inefficient, as it is not related to new technology development, necessary for civilization. However, watching birds example, changes in their species composition, number, migrations, knowing the peculiarities of their biology and ecology, we can build a speculative model of changes in the ecosystems in general, we can make predictions, look for reasons. That is, to observe with your own eyes how the environment changes along with the human life and the technical development of the civilization.

The southern Moscow region can be characterized by several natural systems. Basically it is pretty young, so-called secondary mixed forests with a predominance of the birch and the pine that emerged in abandoned fields in the postwar period. However, there are lots of old pine forests, deciduous parts and steppified grassland areas in the flood plain of Oka. This mosaic of different habitats dictates birds’ species diversity. In the southern Moscow region there are more than 200 species in total. At the reserve there are a few less, since it is mainly represented by only forest ecosystems. Birds also are mobile and agile, they have wings, they are among the first to respond to the changes that take place in ecosystems, clearly showing us their reaction to changes, including human intervention in natural processes.

The knowledge of scientists about the world and about the birds continuously grows and piles up in the form of research publications, articles, books, collections, photographs, quickly spreading via modern technologies. There is a database where this information is structured and systematized. An access to many materials is open and it is possible to work from anywhere in the world using only the Internet and digital libraries. All this gives an opportunity for unlimited development of one’s knowledge and an exchange of it with the concerned people.

The staff of the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve understands the importance of the process and actively participates in the formation, development and information exchange, actively involving our visitors in the process. For this, we came up with a section in social media, where every Thursday we publish articles describing the appearance, the peculiarities of the behavior and habitats of the most common and the rarest birds of the Moscow region. For many birds, we publish records from the archives, so that readers could recognize our characters not only by encountering them in the woods or a park, but also by hearing them sing. All articles can be found on the site under the heading “Nature”, they are placed in the lists of hyperlinks and the descriptions of the features of the reserve’s biodiversity.

We hope that our articles will be helpful both for personal study and for educational institutions. And all those interested to see the birds with their own eyes are welcome to visit our tour programs in the reserve.

The author of the article and the illustration “The woodcock at dusk” – Ilya Murashev, a researcher of the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve, an employee of the Zoological Museum of the Moscow State University.

The articles can be found on the official pages of the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve in social media on the hashtag #птзоптицах #птзптицы