While the forest froze in anticipation of winter, our scientists, together with three volunteers, carried out the second, last of this season, counting of Galliformes in the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve.
When an accountant goes along a route, he mainly needs keen hearing. He has to listen carefully to everything that happens in the forest surrounding him.
Although now a subtle giggle of grouse is heard throughout the forest, not every grouse will sing exactly when the census taker goes along the route.
And capercaillie at this time of the year is completely silent. But this does not matter – after all, the Galliformes hop off very loudly when they are scared. It is the noise from the hop off of the bird that makes it possible to successfully notice them and determine their species affiliation, even if the meter did not manage to make out the bird itself.
This is possible due to the fact that in different species of birds this noise is different. Little hazel grouse take off noisily, make frequent and quick flapping of their wings and land completely silently. And the huge heavy wood grouse create a much louder noise, often accompanied by the sound of breaking branches that are in the way of their flight.
Counters went around the entire reserve and could not help but pay attention to other residents of the protected forest. With the approach of winter, encounters with owls become more frequent, which during the counts were met by three species, namely: brown owl, ural owl and eurasian pygmy owl. Eurasian pygmy owls became universal favorites – these little owls simply wonderful posed in front of observer cameras. Numerous flocks of birds flew over the tops of the forest, both migratory and those who would wait for the winter with us. In just three days of counting, 37 species of birds, including those of the Red Book, were found. On the routes there were several unforgettable meetings with deer, which even allowed themselves to be photographed.
From October 25 to 27, meetings with 5 grouse and 2 capercaillie were recorded per 100 km of routes. These data will allow us to calculate the size of the Galliformes populations in our reserve.
We express our gratitude to the volunteers for participating in the surveys!