Winter Bird Census

The 31st season of winter bird census has started in Russia and the cross-border regions on December 3. The first stage has been conducted on the territory of the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve.

The census group consisted of eight participants, who included professional ornithologists, amateurs and the participants of the Biology Club at the Darwin Museum, all led by the head researcher of the Institute of Problems of Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences E.S. Preobrazhenskaya, PhD in biology.

The census was conducted in daytime from 9.30 to 16.00 in groups of two. For most part of the journey, the participants walked along deer trails less covered in snow and well-stamped by the forest patches. The most convenient way in such journeys is to follow elk traces, the length of which reaches 25 cm that is just slightly smaller than a teenager’s footprint. Besides elk traces, there were lots of traces of wild boars and their rooting damage in the forest. Some participants of the census were very lucky to meet the animal themselves. Also, the fresh snow revealed traces of smaller winter forest inhabitants such as squirrels, mice, martens, hares and roes.

Summing up the results of two days of the census, the participants have walked about 75 km in total, including 29 km on the territory of a pine forest and 46 km in a mixed one. The following 24 bird species have been noted on the courses of the census: the wood grouse, the black grouse, the hazel grouse, the Eurasian pygmy owl, the black woodpecker, the great spotted woodpecker, the lesser spotted woodpecker, the grey-headed woodpecker, the goldcrest, the long-tailed tit (or long-tailed bushtit), the marsh tit, the willow tit, the coal tit, the European crested tit (or simply crested tit), the great tit, the Eurasian blue tit, the Eurasian nuthatch (or wood nuthatch), the Eurasian treecreeper (or common treecreeper), the Eurasian siskin, the Eurasian bullfinch (or common bullfinch), the Eurasian jay, the Eurasian magpie (or common magpie), the crow, the spotted nutcracker (or Eurasian nutcracker or just nutcracker).

More detailed information on the results of the conducted census will be published in a new compilation «The results of winter bird census in Russia and cross-border regions» at the end of the season.

Summing up the results of the work, the organizers expressed their enormous gratitude to the staff of the reserve, as well as to all other participants of the census. Next group trips for conducting the census are planned on December 16-18 in the Ugra national park, on the period from December 27 to January 5-7 at the Kostroma biological station, on January 4-9 in the Bransky Forest Reserve.