Issue 2022-2

Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 83–99

Breeding of the Mediterranean Gull Ichthyaetus melanocephalus in Poland in 2006–2020 in relation to species status in Europe

Piotr Zieliński, Tomasz Chodkiewicz, Monika Zielińska, Tomasz Iciek, Marcin Sidelnik, Jakub Szymczak, Dariusz Bukaciński, Monika Bukacińska, Antonina Rudenko, Grzegorz Neubauer, Arkadiusz Sikora

Abstract: The analysed data were collected primarily within the Mediterranean Gull Census in the State Environmental Monitoring. There were 50–100 pairs breeding annually in Poland in 2006–2020. The Mediterranean Gull has nested in all regions of the country except in Podlasie, but the most numerous and stable colonies were present in south-western, central and north-eastern Poland. The most significant sites were located on dam reservoirs of anthropogenic origin, e.g. Mietków and Nysa reservoirs in Silesia, where c 15 and c 11 pairs bred annually over 15 years. Mediterranean Gull is scarcer and less abundant breeder on natural sites, e.g. on Ryn Lake in Masuria (7.6 pairs per year, on average, over 11 years of breeding) and in Kępa Wykowska nature reserve (Vistula river) – 3.5 pairs/year over 10 years. In 2018, the most numerous colony of 44 pairs was discovered in Bieńkowice gravel pit in Upper Silesia. In years 2007–2020, the abundance trend of the national population of Mediterranean Gull was moderately declining, and the average annual rate of decline amounted to –6.4% (λ = 0.936 ± 0.017 SE; 95% CI: 0.902–0.969; P < 0.05). In protected areas, the rate of decline was slower (–6.2% annually: λ = 0.938 ± 0.016 SE; 95% CI: 0.907–0.968; P < 0.05) than in remaining areas, where the population was declining significantly faster (–16.9% annually: λ = 0.831 ± 0.035 SE; 95% CI: 0.761–0.900; P < 0.05). Both the fluctuations and declines may be related to marked breeding dispersion (low philopatry) of the species: some individuals that have been ringed in Poland, move to colonies located closer to the wintering grounds in western Europe. This specific strategy makes the future of Mediterranean Gull as breeding species in the country uncertain and hard to predict.

Key words: Mediterranean Gull, Ichthyaetus melanocephalus, distribution, abundance decline, endangered species, Monitoring of Birds of Poland


Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 100–114

Peat excavation water bodies as a habitat conditioning high abundance of breeding population of the Common Crane Grus grus in the Noteć valley

Przemysław Wylegała, Andrzej Batycki, Tomasz Chodkiewicz, Arkadiusz Sikora

Abstract: In 2021, an assessment of the breeding population of the Common Crane Grus grus was carried out in the part of the Noteć valley protected as the Natura 2000 Special Protection Area Nadnoteckie Łęgi PLB300003. The population of the species increased there rapidly from 7 pairs in 1990 to 34 pairs in 2003 and 143 pairs in 2021 (95 pairs/100 km2). The confirmed density of breeding population was one of the highest in Poland. Most of the pairs nested on peat bogs (99 pairs; 69.2%), and the remaining ones in old riverbeds (28 pairs; 19.6%), in riparian forests (14 pairs; 9.8%) and on flooded meadows and at the edge of the drainage canal (1 pair each; 0.7% in total). The Common Crane prevalance in 181 1 × 1 km plots was 39.2%. The number of plots inhabited by Common Cranes ranged from 1 to 7 pairs. The model explaining the variability of the number of Common Cranes in the plots showed that the number of pairs depended significantly on the number of peat bogs, the number of old riverbeds and the area of ​​riparian forests.

Key words: Common Crane, Grus grus, peat bogs, high density, Natura 2000 sites, population growth


Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 115–129

Abundance, distribution and habitat characteristics of the Boreal Owl Aegolius funereus in the SPA Natura 2000 Puszcza nad Gwdą

Mateusz Gutowski, Damian Ostrowski

Abstract: The population size and distribution of the Boreal Owl Aegolius funereus were studied in 2012–2021 in forest of the SPA Natura 2000 Puszcza nad Gwdą (776.8 km2, NW Poland) dominated by the Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris. In 2013, 92 sample plots 1 x 1 km were surveyed twice between mid April and late May. In 2020 and 2021 two point counts were performed during night-time at 72 observations point located within 3 sample plots (30 km2 each) and at 45 observation points located in >100 old-year stands outside the plots, first in March and second in April each year. In 2012–2021 61 territories of the Boreal Owl were found in the SPA area, 44 of which were calling males, 3 pairs and 14 occupied hollows. Total density of the Boreal Owl in 2020–2021 was estimated at 0.8 territory/10 km2 of overall area and 0.9 of forest area. The total males density on three sample plots was estimated at 1.7 in 2020 and 1.1 territory/10 km2 forest area in 2021. The Boreal Owl occurred in dense stands (63% of all analysed stands; N=47), the Scots Pine dominated (96%) and mostly aged >100 years (41–147 years; mean 104 years). The understory layer of trees were represented by Norway Spruce Picea abies (35%) and European Beech Fagus sylvatica (17% of occupied stands). The Boreal Owl was also recorded in microhabitats characterized by old pines left on clearcut (37% of stands; N=28), aged 96–150 years (mean 122 years). The Norway Spruce occurred in 57% of microhabitats inhabited by Boreal Owls. Hollows of the Boreal Owl were detected mostly in stands with old Scots Pines (93%; N=13; 90–171 years, mean 126 years). Population size in the studied area was estimated at 55–65 males, roughly 3–5% of the national population, which makes SPA Natura 2000 Puszcza nad Gwdą one of the most important area for the species in Poland.

Key words: Boreal Owl, Aegolius funereus, SPA Natura 2000, Puszcza nad Gwdą, forest management


Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 130–159

Rare birds recorded in Poland in 2021

Komisja Faunistyczna


Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 160–163

The first record of the Baikal Teal Sibirionetta formosa in Poland

Wiesław Lenkiewicz, Tadeusz Stawarczyk


Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 164–169

The first record of the Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala in Poland

Mateusz Łodziński, Michał Baran, Jacek Niemiec


Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 169–176

Density and aspects of breeding ecology of the Herring Gull Larus argentatus in the Żabianka estate in Gdańsk

Klaudia Litwiniak, Marcin Przymencki

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