Issue 2012-2


Ornis Polonica 2012, 53: 69–85

Breeding population of the Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus in Poland

Arkadiusz Sikora, Maria Wieloch, Przemysław Chylarecki

Abstract: Whooper Swan breeds in almost all regions of Poland except the mountains and foothills. In years 1973–2011 the annual average growth rate of breeding population was 12%. In 2007 the national breeding population was estimated at the level of 43–52 pairs, while in 2011 at 73–80 pairs. It is likely, that even 80–90 pairs breed in Poland. In 2007–2011 the average rate of annual population increase was 18% for a subpopulation breeding on the northern lake districts, and 35% for swans nesting in the southern highlands. The number of pairs breeding on lowlands of central Poland fluctuated, despite an increasing trend had been shown there previously. Occupancy (the frequency of occupied 10 × 10 km squares) increased from 1.3% in 2007 to 2.0% in 2011, while the cumulative occupancy for the 5-year period was 2.7%. Occupancy increased at the highest rate in the lake districts of northern Poland. Fish ponds were key breeding habitats – c. 60% of all occupied sites across the country. 16% of sites were located on lakes, 8% on dam and storage reservoirs and 7% on floodplains in river valleys and in the polders. Fish ponds were main breeding habitats used in the southern and central Poland (100% and 75% breeding sites, respectively). Fish ponds (41% sites) and lakes (31%) dominated among occupied breeding sites at the lake districts of northern Poland. Overall, 58% of pairs breeding successfully raised broods. An average brood size early in the season (1 May–10 June) was 4.03 cygnets (range: 1–10, N=108), while late in the season (21 July–31 August) it dropped to 3.51 (range: 1–8, N=154). Four types of partnerships were found (N=297): Whooper Swan pairs (95% of cases), 3 Whooper Swans (3 cases), a mixed pair of Whooper Swan and Mute Swan Cygnus olor raising chicks (1 case) and a trio composed of a pair of Mute Swans and single Whooper Swan (11 cases at 4 sites).

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Ornis Polonica 2012, 53: 86–104

Breeding avifauna of the Czerwone Bagno reserve in the Biebrza River Valley

Adam Dmoch, Romuald Mikusek, Andrzej Dyrcz

Abstract: The avifauna of the Czerwone Bagno reserve (36 km², NE Poland), which covers swamp forests overgrowing one of the largest peatland area in Poland protected since 1925 was studied in 2007–2010. 137 species of birds were recorded, including 93 breeders and 9 species listed in the Polish Red Data Book of Animals. In case of Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga (1 pair), Eurasian Eagle Owl Bubo bubo (3 pairs) and White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos (12–13 pairs), the number of breeding pairs exceeds 1% of the Polish population. Furthermore, the list of breeding species includes: Lesser Spotted Eagle A. pomarina (2–3 pairs), Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix (2 males at a minimum), Common Crane Grus grus (35–40 pairs), Stock Dove Columba oenas (11–12 pairs), Swift Apus apus (6 pairs at a minimum), Great Snipe Gallinago media (1 male at a minimum), Pygmy Owl Glaucidium passerinum (1 pair), Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus (8–9 pairs), Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus (0–1 pair), Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola (1 pair) and Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola (up to 28 males). In 2007–2008, breeding birds were censused using the cartographic method at four plots established in the habitats typical for the site. In 2 plots in the coniferous forest, total bird density was 23.9 and 24.2 pairs/10 ha. In the plot in the swamp birch forest and in bush habitat, total bird density was 21.8 and 24.7 pairs/10 ha, respectively. Low density of breeding hole-nesters (2.3–5.5 pairs/10 ha) and higher density of birds breeding on ground or low in bush (11.7–12.7 pairs/10 ha) were characterstic for the forest plots of the Czerwone Bagno reserve.

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Ornis Polonica 2012, 53: 105–140

Rare birds recorded in Poland in 2011

Summary: This report includes 501 accepted records from 2011, as well as 61 earlier ones, concerning 106 species and subspecies. None new species has been recorded for the first time in Poland. The Blyth’s Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum was a new breeding bird for the country, whereas the Common Eider Somateria mollissima bred fot the second time. Highlights of the year were: the second record of the Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus, the third of the Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis and Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus, the fourth of the Slender-billed Gull Chroicocephalus genei, the fourth and fifth of the Cory’s Shearwater Calonectris diomedea, and the sixth of the Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris. Noteworthy are also high numbers of: the Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis (41), Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus (40), Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus (14), Dotterel Charadrius morinellus (37), Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus (15), Blyth’s Reed Warbler (24), and Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus (12). Exceptional were also records of three species of vultures, including Black Vulture Aegypius monachus seen after a break of almost 30 years.

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Ornis Polonica 2012, 53: 141–155

Birds of rocky habitats in southern Poland: a review

Michał Ciach, Filip Kowalski

Rocks provide important habitats for several stenotypical species and allow for the existence of specific ecological relations between bird species and their natural habitats. In Poland, natural rocky sites are rare and cover rather small, isolated patches. Their avifauna is unique and important for the maintenance of biodiversity and ecological diversity. Along Carpathians and Sudetes as well as in Kraków-Częstochowa Upland 35 bird species use natural rocky sites in a various way. There are three strictly alpine species (Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria, Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris and Alpine Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus), five arctic- and boreal-alpine taxa (Bluethroat Luscinia svecica svecica, Common Redpoll Carduelis flammea cabaret, Dotterel Charadrius morinellus, Water Pipit Athus spinoletta); further 21 species use rocky sites in a less obligatory way (e.g. Eagle Owl Bubo bubo, Kestrel Falco tinnunculus, Swift Apus apus, Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros, Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis). Six other species (e.g. Redstart Ph. phoenicurus, Blackbird Turdus merula) use rocky sites as a nesting habitat exceptionally. Most of rocky habitats with their avifauna are protected in several national parks and nature reserves. The most important threats for avifauna of rocky sites involve stress due to massive tourist pressure, forest succession and climate changes. Tourist impact on natural breeding sites can displace species, modify or even destroy their habitats. The temperature increase can lead to changes in the timberline location and forest succession in alpine habitats.

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Ornis Polonica 2012, 53: 156–157

Mystery bird 67: Black Kite Milvus migrans

Jan Lontkowski

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Ornis Polonica 2012, 53: 158–161

Review: Leisler B., Schulze-Hagen K. 2011. The reed warblers. Diversity
in a uniform bird family. Max Planck Institute for Ornithology.
KNNV Publishing, Zeits

Andrzej Dyrcz

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Ornis Polonica 2012, 53: 162–164

Obituary: Dr Marek Keller (1952–2012)

Dorota Zawadzka, Jerzy Zawadzki

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