Volume 48• Number 4 • 2007

Breeding birds of prey Falconiformes in the Lasy Parczewskie forest - fluctuations in numbers and changes in distribution in the spans of 1991-1993 and 2002-2004.

Tomasz Buczek, Marek Keller, Andrzej Łukasz Różycki

Abstract: In the periods 1991-1993 and 2002-2004, the community of breeding raptor species of the Lasy Parczewskie forest (ca 75 km2), eastern Poland, was investigated by the method of searching for the nests of all birds of prey (Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus only in the latter period), and subsequent controlling them from the ground. Breeding of seven bird species was recorded and one occupied territory of the Kestrel Falco tinnunculus found. In the last years, an increase in the numbers of the White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla (from 2 to 3 pairs) was noted and possibly also the Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus population grew from 6-9 in the former to 10-11 pairs in latter span. The populations of the Common Buzzard Buteo buteo (59-61 and 54-60 pairs respectively), Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina (4-5 pairs in both periods) and Hobby F. subbuteo (9-10 pairs in both periods) remained stable. The decline in the Goshawk A. gentilis abundance from 15-16 to 5 pairs resulted probably from persecution of this species by dove keepers. The values of the Sparrowhawk abundance, assessed by two different methods for the two periods (ca 11 and 23-25 pairs) are incomparable, but the one obtained for the latter span seems to be closer to the actual numbers. The densities of particular species are among the average or high values noted in Poland. A positive correlation between density and habitat fertility was discovered for the Honey Buzzard, Goshawk, Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard and Lesser Spotted Eagle, whereas in the Sparrowhawk, Lesser Spotted Eagle and Hobby density was found related to the level of fragmentation of the forest complex. The Honey Buzzard and Common Buzzard densities were positively correlated with the mean tree-stand age.



Changes in the breeding avifauna of two urban parks of Legnica after 40 years.

Ludwik Tomiałojć

Abstract: Bird censuses in distinctly different urban parks, down-town and peripheral, only two km apart, were carried out in the Legnica during the breeding seasons of 1965-1967, 1972 and 2003-04 or 2007. The down-town park bird community was additionally checked qualitatively between those periods. The same versions of the territory mapping technique were applied by the same observer (recently using a hearing apparatus): in the down-town park 8-11 visits per season while in the peripheral 4 visits per season (but for 2007 results of eight visits were also calculated). Besides their position within the town boundaries, the parks differed in the following traits: (a) down-town park: very old, an almost unchanging tree stand devoid of bushes, with absence of important predators, permanent human presence and some feeding of birds; (b) peripheral park: a tree stand half younger, poorer soil, a rich bush layer of forest type, predators recently arrived, rare presence of humans. In both areas a few nest boxes. In spite of the stable structure and age of tree stand (replacements like in gap dynamics), the bird community of the down-town park gets richer with time (from 28 to 38 species) and in the overall density (from c. 165 to 300 p/10 ha). Most species have increased 2-10 times (the Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla, thrushes, tits, columbids, ducks), only four have declined. The very high density of the down-town park awifauna, recalling results from some parks of Dijon, Częstochowa or Lublin, represents the case of down-town parks forming "the green islands" devoid of important predators for generations. Such conditions emerge chiefly in towns surrounded by open farmland acting both as an isolating barrier to predators and as foraging ground for urban birds. In the peripheral park, which has turned into a kind of forest, the changes in avifauna were very small. The overall density remained the same, while the species richness has declined by 15% mostly due to retreats explainable by the changed habitat structure: small open meadows get overgrown with bushes causing disappearance of birds of the open areas and of forest-edges.



Breeding of valuable bird species in the Wysoczyzna Elbl±ska upland.

Arkadiusz Sikora

Abstract: The hitherto available data about the breeding avifauna of the Wysoczyzna Elbl±ska upland have been accidental in character. The study carried out in 2004-2007 was aimed at estimation of the abundance of selected breeding bird species, endangered ones in particular. Most data were gathered during counts performed in 2004-2006 within 100 randomly chosen square plots, each covering 1 km2; for three species of Passeriformes the counts were made within 30 plots in 2006. The data collected show that the plateau constitutes an important refuge of birds on European scale. Populations of a few breeding species exceed 1% of their total numbers for the country, reaching high densities. The abundance of seven species included in the Annex I of the Birds Directive qualifies the region of Wysoczyzna Elbl±ska as Special Protection Area in the Natura 2000 network. These species include: the Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina (18-19 pairs; 4.4 p/100 km2), Corncrake Crex crex (410-460 males; ca 100 males/100 km2), Common Crane Grus grus (110-150 pairs; 28-35 p/100 km2), Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus (25-35 pairs; 16 p/100 km2 of forest area), Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius (290-450 pairs; 1.8-2.9 p/km2 of forest area), Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria (ca 370 pairs; 0.9 p/km2) and Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva (ca 500 pairs; 3.2 p/km2 of forest area). Besides, the plateau harbours significant populations of the White Stork Ciconia ciconia (190-220 pairs; 46-52 p/100 km2), Stock Dove Columba oenas (110-180 pairs; 6.8-11.6 p/10 km2 of forest area) and Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio (ca 1250 pairs; 3.0 p/km2).



Species and subspecies - molecular genetics in studies of the European Tetraonidae.

Robert Rutkowski, Marek Keller, Patrycja Jagołkowska

Summary: Studies on Tetraonidae applying techniques of molecular genetics clearly indicate that both the level of genetic variability within populations and the genetic differentiation among them are strongly determined by forces fragmentizing the natural environment. It has been confirmed that the fragmentation of the Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus and Black Grouse T. tetrix populations into smaller units (subpopulations) decreases genetic variability. This process is most pronounced in isolated populations, whereas the intensity of the decrease is interlinked with severity and durability of the isolation. In isolated populations, the genetic composition is strongly determined by random processes (genetic drift) and much less by natural selection. Such populations are sensitive to random genetic and demographic changes, which might lead to local extinctions. Although studies basing on mitochondrial DNA show that the Eurasian Capercaillies are genetically uniform, current changes and destruction of their environment launched the process of gradual genetic differentiation, as suggested by analysis of microsatellite markers. The situation of the Hazel Grouse Bonasa bonasia seems to be slightly different. Molecular studies performed on the Polish population of this species point out that high genetic differentiation might occur among particular localities. Probably, such differentiation is not exclusively caused by the fragmentation of forest environment but it is also related with the evolutionary history of the species. Most authors agree that the Hazel Grouse European population is formed by two distinct lineages: the northern and southern part of the continent are inhabited by at least two subspecies. Preliminary analysis of the mitochondrial DNA seems to confirm this hypothesis.



Size and location of the Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio nests in the agricultural landscape of eastern Poland.
Artur Goławski

Summary: The research was performed in 1999-2003 on an 855-ha-large plot of cropland under extensive cultivation in the agricultural landscape of eastern Poland. Nests (N=234) were found in 31 species of trees and shrubs, the greatest number in willows Salix sp. (12.8%), the Common Pear Pyrus communis (11.5%) and European Elder Sambucus nigra (9%). They were situated at a height of 8-535 cm, on average 128 cm above the ground. Although northern (17.8%) and southern exposure (17.2%, N=157) predominated, statistically significant differences in nest location as related to geographical exposure were not found. The mean nest volume equalled 492.4 cm3 (N=94). Of the 218 nests described in detail, in as many as 166 (76.1%) fragments of polypropylene string were detected. Location of the Red-backed Shrike nests in the agricultural landscape of eastern Poland did not diverge from data collected in other regions of the country or Europe. However, the wide variety of shrub and tree species used for nest-sites, which must have stemmed directly from the high plant species richness in the agricultural landscape of eastern Poland, is worth noting.



Winter food of the Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor in the agricultural landscape of eastern Poland.
Artur Goławski

Summary: The research was performed in 2000-2004 and 2007 in the agricultural landscape of the environs of Siedlce (eastern Poland). Pellets were collected in the period from October to March (except for November). Remains of 190 animals were found in the food, insects predominating (65.3%), among which Coleoptera and Orthoptera constituted 52.1% and 6.3% of prey items respectively. Vertebrates made up 34.7% of all prey items, with only the Field Vole Microtus arvalis identified to the level of species. The greatest share of insects was noted for October, and the smallest for January-February. The average length of a pellet equalled 25.6 mm, width 12.5 mm. On average, 1.2 items of prey were distinguished in a single pellet. In the agricultural landscape of eastern Poland, the Great Grey Shrike food is of low species diversity, the changes in the proportions of invertebrates to vertebrates during consecutive winter seasons corresponding with those revealed in other European studies.



An unknown specimen of the Slender-billed Curlew Numenius tenuirostris from Poland.
Jiří Mlíkovský

Summary: A review of specimens of the Slender-billed Curlew in the collections of the Czech Republic shows that, apart from the misidentified birds which appear to be Common Curlews N. arquata, there are specimens of the former species from Poland, Spain and one of unknown origin. The Polish specimen was collected in September 1915 at Olchowce, SE Poland, by Czech ornithologist Karel Plachetka. It was incorrectly labeled as a Whimbrel N. phaeopus. This specimen is currently deposited at the National Museum of Prague.



Avifaunistic Commission Communiqué No 14.
Komisja Faunistyczna

Summary: First of all the paper presents a new way of contact with observers based on highest use of electronics, as well as some rules increasing the rigours of record acceptance. A new web site - http://www.komisjafaunistyczna.pl - is opened, which now will be the main forum of communication with observers. According to this, a modernized list of faunistically important species, records of which should be verified by the Commission is published here (see tables 1 and 2), and the same on the web site will be brought to up-to-date successively. "Bird Rarities Report" forms in English are there available on the page "Reporting".


Mystery bird 49: Treecreeper Certhia familiaris.
Jan Lontkowski



Conference "Protection of tetraonids". Janów Lubelski, 16-18.10.2007.
Dorota Zawadzka, Jerzy Zawadzki, Małgorzata Piotrowska





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