Issue 2017–3

Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 143–159

Migration of the Common Crane Grus grus in the Polish Carpathians and selected factors affecting its intensity

Rafał Bobrek, Tomasz Wilk, Aleksandra Pępkowska-Król

Abstract: The paper presents the parameters of Common Crane Grus grus migration in the Polish part of the Carpathians. The influence of weather on migration intensity was also analysed. The bird migration was visually monitored in observation points in autumns 2011–2013 (28 points) and in spring 2015 (12 points) distributed across the whole region. The spring and autumn passage concentrated in the eastern part of the Carpatians, although minor but distinct migration stream was recorded in autumn also in the west. Spring migration lasted at least 43 days (8 Mar–19 Apr), and on average 33.9 ind./10 h were recorded in single location. Mean and largest flock size comprised 61.9 (Me=53) and 292 birds, respectively. Almost all Cranes migrated in the N and NE direction. Autumn migration lasted ca. 80 days (24 Aug–11 Nov), but the passage was less intense – 15.6 ind./10 h of observation. An average flock consisted of 28.9 (Me=24) birds and the largest had 222 birds. Cranes migrated mainly in the S and SW direction, but in the western points the W direction prevailed. The migration peaked around the midday in spring or in the late afternoon in autumn. The seasonal peak of migration occurred in the middle of March and in the last decade of September. In comparison with 1960s and 1980s the timing of both peaks of passage has advanced, and autumn migration period has extended as a result of an earlier start. In autumn birds preferred good visibility and moderate wind force. As much as 69.2% (spring) and 87.6% (autumn) of flocks migrated using an active flight.

Key words: dynamics and phenology of migration, weather conditions, migration barrier, mountains



Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 160–177

Migration of the Woodpigeon Columba palumbus in the Polish Carpathians – migration parameters and birds’ selectivity for meteorological variables

Rafał Bobrek, Tomasz Wilk, Aleksandra Pępkowska-Król

Abstract: The paper presents the phenology and dynamics of migration, flock sizes and directions of passage of the Woodpigeon Columba palumbus in the Polish Carpathians and the influence of weather on the migration intensity. The bird migration was visually monitored in observation points in autumn 2011–2013 (28 points) and spring 2015 (12 points). Migrating birds were noted at each studied point, but they were more numerous on the periphery of the region. Spring migration lasted for at least 57 days (8th Mar–3rd May), and in the single location on average 18.7 ind./10 h of observation were recorded. The average and the largest flock size was 4.9 (SD=7.7; Me=2) and 52 birds, respectively. Autumn passage lasted for at least 90 days (14th Aug–11th Nov), and it was more intense – 57.1 ind./10 h of observation. An average flock consisted of 18.0 (SD=38.9; Me=3) and the largest of 497 birds. The passage was the most intensive in both seasons in the morning, but in spring also in the early afternoon. The spring migration volume was ca. 82% lower than autumn. In autumn, Woodpigeons migrated more frequently during good visibility and wind from N, NE or W, while in spring they selected medium and high cloud cover, light rain and moderate to strong wind, preferably from N or NW directions. They migrated with an almost equal frequency along NE–SW and N–S axes, but much less often along E–W axis. The high share of N–S axis suggests that many birds do not use the Continental, but the Mediterranean flyway. The autumn peak of migration – covering the period 28th Sep–15th Oct, i.e., is consistent with the dates of the most intensive passage in other parts of Poland and Central Europe, which may indicate that migration is synchronized over the vast part of the continent. Unlike in the autumn, the spring peak, falling in the third decade of March, differs regionally in Central Europe and is delayed while moving north and east.

Key words: Woodpigeon Columba palumbus, migration, phenology and dynamics of passage, migration flyways, mountains, wind


Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 178–186

Breeding of the Grey Heron Ardea cinerea in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Province (NE Poland) – distribution and abundance

Adam Zbyryt, Sebastian Menderski

Abstract: The study describes the number and distribution of Grey Herons breeding in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Province in 2016. A total of 28 breeding sites and 2413 breeding pairs were found. The average breeding density was 100 pairs/1000 km2, and 1.1 colony/1000 km2. The average colony consisted of 86 pairs (range 1–251). Most colonies were located in forest aged 28–151 years (mean 77 years). Forest patches covered the area of fewer than 25 ha (0.4–21.2) . The most common habitat type was single-species stands (70%). On average, heronries were located at a distance of 394 m from potential foraging grounds (range 0–2230). Most colonies were located up to 500 m from the buildings (79%), and the mean distance from the buildings was 403 m (range 50–2330). The majority of heronries (60.7%) were located inland, 35.7% on lake islands and 3.6% on the ground, in reedbeds. Half of the colonies were mixed-species with co-nesting Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo (12 colonies) and Great Egrets Ardea alba (2 colonies).

Key words: Grey Heron Ardea cinerea, breeding colony, population size


Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 187–196

Acoustic monitoring of birds migrating at night – issues related to automatic detection of calls

Hanna Pamuła, Maciej Kłaczyński, Wiesław Wszołek, Magdalena Remisiewicz

Abstract: The aim of the paper is to introduce the readers to the issues of acoustic monitoring of nocturnal bird migration. The concept and preliminary results from such a monitoring on the Baltic Sea coast are presented. Problems and difficulties occurring in environmental long-term recordings, as changing weather conditions and environmental noises of different types are identified. Manual and automatic extraction of voices from recordings from one night are performed and compared. We have found that two tested automatic programs were a few times less efficient but four times less time-consuming than manual segmentation. The paper shows the need for developing methods of automatic analysis of calls of nocturnal migrants, which could become in the future the complementary method for birds migration research.

Key words: bird migration, nocturnal flight calls, acoustic signal processing, biodiversity monitoring


Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 197–202

Methodological recommendations for nest counts of the Grey Heron Ardea cinerea and Great Egret A. alba in breeding colonies

Adam Zbyryt, Sebastian Menderski

Abstract:  We compared two techniques of counting Grey Heron Ardea cinerea  nests in a breeding colony: (1) with marking and (2) without marking of the nesting trees. We conducted the study in 13 randomly selected colonies of Grey Herons located in N Poland in 2017. Counts without marking of nest trees resulted in 17–36% underestimation of the nest number. We recommend the usage of a drone for inspections of Great Egret A. alba and Grey Heron nests, situated in reedbeds and mixed colonies of these species located on shrubs and trees. The method using a drone is faster than traditional methods, and allows for collecting of more precise information. At the same time it creates much less disturbance to the breeding birds.


Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 203–207

Summary: Numbers of waterbirds on the Bay of Gdańsk between September 2016 and April 2017

Włodzimierz Meissner, Andrzej Kośmicki, Maciej Kozakiewicz, Sabina Kaszak


Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 208–211

Niezgoda E. 2017. Dzięcioł czarny – król europejskich dzięciołów. 
Poligrafia Redemptorystów, Tuchów. 126 str. ISBN 978-83-7631-738-0

Maciej Luniak, Tomasz Mazgajski


Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 212–213

Mystery bird 88

Jan Lontkowski

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