Young naturalists conduct winter estimation of birds in the reserve

December 12-13th, the first winter season 2015/16’s route estimation of wintering birds took place in the territory of the Prioksko-Terrasny biosphere reserve and its surrounding area. Scientists have been conducting similar events in the nature reserve since 1970s. Route estimations allow to keep up-to-date information about changes of the number of birds.

In the last three decades estimations conducted within the media campaign “Euro-Asian Christmas bird census” which is coordinated by the Russian Bird Conservation Union and Menzbier Ornithological Society. In this campaign, both professional ornithologists and birdwatchers are involved. Every winter they examine about 30 permanent sites, passing of about 2000 km. About half of these sites are located in nature reserves and national parks. Long-term series of wintering birds census in the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve – one of the most continuous in Russia; surveys are carried out more than 40 years.

This December, as in years past, surveys of birds in the reserve were taken by participants of biological community “VOOP” of the Darwin Museum in Moscow – pupils and students of the Moscow State Pedagogical University, under the guidance of IEE RAS senior researcher Ekaterina Preobrazhenskaya. Totally about 45 km of route were passed; 17 species of birds were registered. The most numerous birds this year turned out to be goldcrests, willow tits and great spotted woodpeckers. Several flocks of european siskins were met. The number of species of birds as long-tailed tit, crested tit, blue tit and coal tit this year is significantly lower than in the past. December estimations indicate the number of birds come to winter after the summer breeding and autumn migrations. The next census will be held in February in order to understand how birds survived the winter.

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