Issue 2014-4

Ornis Polonica 2014, 55: 227–239

Breeding biology of the Whitethroat Sylvia communis in Poland – results of the nest cards analysis

Justyna Chachulska, Katarzyna Turzańska, Marta Borowiec

Abstract: The paper summarizes knowledge about several aspects of breeding biology of the Whitethroat Sylvia communis, based on analysis of data from 408 nest cards collected between 1987 and 2013 in the Polish Nest Record Scheme. This species has not been studied in detail in Poland yet. Over half of the data were collected from Masovian, Lower Silesian and Silesian voivodeships. The nests were found most often in the agricultural landscape, on semi-open areas, densely overgrown by shrubs and herbaceous vegetation. They were usually placed low, in over half of cases between 0.2 and 0.6 m above the ground (range 0–4 m). The earliest broods were laid in the second half of April, while the latest in the second half of July, with the majority laid during the second half of May. Whitethroats laid 3–6, predominantly 5 or 6 eggs, and the mean clutch size was 5.1. The clutch size decreased with the progress of the breeding season. The breeding success was 51%. 21% of the nests containing eggs and 25% nests with the nestlings were destroyed. Predation was the main cause of the losses (over 50%).

Key words: Whitethroat, Sylvia communis, nest cards, breeding biology

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Ornis Polonica 2014, 55: 240–256

White Stork Ciconia ciconia breeding population in Warmińska Refuge (Natura 2000 Special Protection Area)

Adam Zbyryt, Sebastian Menderski, Sławomir Niedźwiecki, Roman Kalski, Karol Zub

Abstract: During 7 breeding seasons (2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010–2013) a breeding population of the White Stork Ciconia ciconia was studied within Warmińska Refuge – Natura 2000 SPA (central point: 54°31′N; 20°80’E). Standard methods, used during the International White Stork Census, were applied. This area is one of the key breeding sites of the species in the world. The average density ranged from 50.2 pairs/100 km2 in 2008 to 70.6 pairs/100 km2 in 2004. The average number of fledglings reared by a breeding pair varied from 2.02 in 2004 to 2.81 in 2011 (JZa x=2.58; SD=0.29), and the average number of fledglings reared by a successful pair from 2.31 in 2004 to 3.05 in 2013 (JZm x=2.75; SD=0.27). In all study years the population of White Stork in Warmińska Refuge produced at least 12 329 fledglings. On average, ca. 1761 chicks were produced annually. The largest share of couples without young (%HPo) was recorded in 2004 and the lowest in 2006 (x=7.3%; SD=3.7). The largest colonies were situated in the northern part of the studied area. In 19 colonies in 2013 the decrease of nesting pairs by 11% (Krzewno) to 49% (Żywkowo) was observed (mean 32%; SD=11.5) in comparison to 2004, 2008, 2010. The biggest drops concerned large colonies, gathering >30 pairs. The increase in numbers was recorded in 4 small- and medium-sized colonies (range 5–15 nests) and only in one big colony in Lwowiec. Frequency of nest location type in Warmińska Refuge changed considerably in 2004–2013. In 2013 the share of nests located on pylons raised by almost 20% compared to 2004. At the same time the number of nests placed on roofs of buildings dropped by 23%.

Key words: White Stork, Ciconia ciconia, distribution, numbers, breeding success, Warmińska Refuge

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Ornis Polonica 2014, 55: 257–263

Notes on the breeding ecology of the Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris and the Grey Heron Ardea cinerea on fish ponds in Siedlce (E Poland)

Zbigniew Kasprzykowski, Artur Goławski

Abstract: Reproductive parameters of twelve broods of Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris and nine broods of Grey Heron Ardea cinerea were studied in 2007–2009 on the fish ponds complex near Siedlce (eastern Poland). Most of the Bittern nests were situated in reedbeds, whereas Grey Herons located their nests mainly in cattails. The nests of the Grey Heron were bigger and situated in a larger distance from a fishpond dyke and open water compared to the Bittern. In spite of similarities in clutch size and the number of hatchlings, broods of Bittern had lower number of fledglings and lower breeding success. The rates of bill growth were similar in both species, but Bittern nestlings showed quicker tarsus growth.

Key words: Ardeidae, nest site, reproductive parameters, nestling growth

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Ornis Polonica 2014, 55: 264–278

Expansion of the Great White Egret Ardea alba in Warmia and Masuria

Arkadiusz Sikora, Dawid Cząstkiewicz

Abstract: This study analyses records of the Great White Egret Ardea alba in Warmia and Masuria (NE Poland) in 1989–2012. Most data come from accidental observations of non-breeding birds. In 1989–2000 the Great White Egret was recorded at only 10 sites. However, after several years its numbers started to increase dynamically, and the species appeared in many new places. The peak number was recorded in 2011–2012, when the species was found in 117 localities of all 161 recorded in 1989–2012. In spring and summer the Great Egret was observed relatively rarely (11% of all records in each season, and 3% and 5% of all individuals, respectively). Most birds were found in autumn (76% of all records and 91% of individuals). The numbers reached the highest levels from late September to mid-October. Maximum numbers of 380 individuals were found near Sątopy-Samulewo (Bisztynek Commune) and 180 individuals near Kwiecewa (Świątki Commune). In December–February 2% of all observations were made. The species was found the most often at lakes (37% of 151 localities) and fish-ponds (25%). Great White Egrets were often accompanied by Grey Herons A. cinerea (37% of records concerned both species). During the majority of the year the Grey Heron was more abundant than the Great White Egret, but the opposite was found in August–October. In 2008 the first nesting attempt was reported from polder near Sątopy-Samulewo. At the same site some probably breeding birds were observed also in 2010 and 2012, as well as 12 pairs bred in 2013. The second breeding locality hosting 8 pairs was detected in 2012 at Lake Gołdapiwo. The expansion of the Great White Egret in Warmia and Masuria corresponds with the dynamic growth of the species European population and changes in its range.

Key words: Great White Egret, Ardea alba, expansion, Warmia and Masuria

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Ornis Polonica 2014, 55: 279–289

A comparison of two methods of duck census during the spring migration in a widely flooded river valley

Michał Polakowski, Monika Broniszewska, Artur Goławski

Abstract: We compared results of counts of non-breeding ducks (including mergansers) during their spring migration in the southern part of the Biebrza river valley conducted in 2013 and 2014. Birds were simultaneously counted with two methods: from the river bank and from the boat. There is a limited access to the valley of Biebrza River between Osowiec and Łoje Awissa villages, while between Łoje Awissa and the mouth of the river, the western bank is easily accessible. The observations from a boat between Osowiec and Łoje-Awissa revealed the presence of 4.5 times more birds compared to the river bank observations. Likewise, between Łoje Awissa and the river mouth the difference observed amounted to 1.7 times more birds in favour of counts from the boat. The number of species recorded with the two methods was comparable in both sections of the river. However, the percentage share of species differed considerably between the compared methods in the upper section, between Osowiec and Łoje-Awissa. On the other hand, between Łoje-Awissa and the river mouth, no differences were noticed in the domination structure of the bird groups counted using both techniques. In the case of large river valleys characterized by wide floodplains and hindered access from riverbanks, it is strongly recommended to use boat in order to estimate the number of small-sized waterbirds.

Key words: non-breeding ducks, Anatinae, spring migration, Biebrza Valley

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Ornis Polonica 2014, 55: 290–298

Update of systematics and taxonomy of the Polish bird checklist

Tadeusz Stawarczyk

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Ornis Polonica 2014, 55: 299–301

First record of the Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes in Poland

Maciej Nagler

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Ornis Polonica 2014, 55: 301–303

Next records of the American Wigeon Anas americana in Poland

Mariusz Blank, Teresa Blank, Danuta Dydo, Michał Polakowski

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Ornis Polonica 2014, 55: 304–305

Cocker M. 2013. Birds and People. Random House UK, London. 592 pp.

Piotr Tryjanowski

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Ornis Polonica 2014, 55: 306–307

Mystery bird 77

Jan Lontkowski

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