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Thursday, December 7th, 2017
avinews
Birds
Communication of the Swiss Rarities Committee

The Swiss Rarities Committee (SRC) has published the minutes of its last meeting, held on 7 November 2017, on the SRC website (www.vogelwarte.ch/src). Among the reports accepted during that meeting are the 2nd record of Eleonora’s Falcon, the 4th and 5th records of Trumpeter Finch, the 6th and 7th records of Greenish Warbler, the 12th and 13th records of Spectacled Warbler, the 12th record of Lesser Spotted Eagle since 1900, the 14th record of River Warbler, the 14th and 15th records of Chiffchaff with characters of the subspecies Phylloscopus collybita tristis, the 14th and 15th records of Lesser Kestrel since 1900, the 17th record of Richard’s Pipit, the 18th to 20th records of Black-winged Kite, the 21st and 22nd records of Black-headed Bunting, several records of White-winged Tern (8), European Roller (5) and Lesser Grey Shrike (4), as well as the 1st breeding record of Subalpine Warbler in the Grisons (in 2012). In addition, the category of some records of Cinereous Vulture has been revised.

In order to facilitate its administrative work, the SRC recommends to send the rarities reports and photographic proofs as soon as possible and if possible in electronic format (preferably as Word file) to the following address: sak@vogelwarte.ch. The form can be downloaded from the SRC website (www.vogelwarte.ch/src-downloads). Please send us reports about observations of 2017 by 10 January 2018 at the latest, so that the SRC can examine those reports in time.

The SRC thanks you for your collaboration and wishes you many interesting winter observations!

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Tuesday, October 17th, 2017
tipnews
Birds
How to document a sighting?

Some sightings are marked with a yellow triangle and an exclamation mark. Such a symbol means that the sighting is unexpected and needs to be documented more precisely. It may be related to a rare species, an unusual date or an unusual observation site.

The main goal of documenting a sighting is to produce a detailed description of what you have observed:  Each and every evidence concerning the size, appearance, feathering, calling, song, behaviour, the observation conditions, and diagnostic criteria eliminating similar species are needed. Additional proofs like pictures, drawings, video sequences and sound recordings are most welcome. Such documentation is to be done using the official rarities homologation form, which is then sent to the Swiss Rarities Committee (sak@vogelwarte.ch) with the additional proofs. This expert group assesses whether the sighting is correct and sufficiently documented or not to be taken into account in the scientific literature. Sightings accepted by this committee are additionally marked with a green hook behind the yellow triangle.

If such a bird remains in the same place for many days, it is not necessary to describe each and every observation in detail. Yet it is very important to document the first and the last observation date as well as the different individuals present during that time if more than one individual is present. In the normal case, the person who discovered the bird is responsible for the sighting documentation.

An insufficient documentation is the most frequent reason for a sighting to be rejected by the Swiss Rarities Committee. In almost all such cases the description is too poor or even missing. Sentences such as "I know this species very well", "the song was typical" or "the bird was identical to the one pictured in my identification book" are definitely not part of a description. Insufficiently documented observations are not taken into account at all, in any scientific studies. They are marked with a red exclamation point and remain visible only for the person who submitted it, yet not for the other users of ornitho.ch.

In order to guarantee a long term quality of the data published on ornitho.ch, we need you to document your unusual observations as completely as possible. Keep in mind to send your documentation as soon as possible to the Swiss Rarities Committee. Thanks in advance for your commitment on ornitho.ch!

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Sunday, October 1st, 2017
avinews
Birds
International Vulture Watch Days

The 12th International Bearded Vulture Watch Days are taking place between the 7th and 15th October 2017, with a main focus on Saturday 7th October. This event is organized by the “Pro Bartgeier” Foundation, in close collaboration with the Swiss Ornithological Institute. Now think about going out and plan an alpine hike to look for bearded vultures! You will find more information here.

We wish you every success!

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Thursday, September 21st, 2017
avinews
Butterflies
Small but powerful!

It does not weigh much more than a feather and reaches a wingspan of only a few centimeters. And yet it crosses the mountains and the seas, defying wind and weather. It is the Red Admiral! With its red banded and white spotted black wings this migratory species is unmistakable among European butterflies.

Autumn migration of the Red Admiral is in progress. Please record your Red Admiral observations through www.ornitho.ch! Every observations helps the citizen science project investigating the year-round dynamics of the Red Admiral butterfly in Europe, run by researchers of the university of Bern.

For more information about the project click here.

Many thanks to everyone recording Red Admirals!

 

Marco Thoma, Insect Migration & Ecology Research Group, Institute of Ecology & Evolution, University of Bern

 

The research group on social media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/insectmigration

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/insectmigration/

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Friday, August 25th, 2017
avinews
Birds
Topic of the month: Birders. These odd fish and their increasingly popular hobby

The Natural History Museum of Bern dedicates its September program to birders and their special passion. An exhibition and various exciting events are planned. By the way, the movie of Floh von Grünigen portrays many active contributors of ornitho.ch. The benefits of these events will help the development of the polish portal of ornitho (ornitho.pl). If you dare to have a look in the “mirror”, you should not miss this...!

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Sunday, August 20th, 2017
avinews
Birds
Grouse Symposium 28th October at the Natural History Museum of Bern

Barely anyone has dealt so closely with Grouse birds in Switzerland as Christian Marti, the long-time editor of “Der Ornithologische Beobachter”, librarian and former management member of the Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach. After the retirement of Christian Marti at the end of July 2017, we wanted to take the opportunity to organize a symposium to honour his commitment for birdwatching and bird protection. Renowned speakers coming from the whole German-speaking region will present the state of knowledge on grouse birds. The symposium will take place on 28th October 2017 at the Natural History Museum in Bern.

Please register until the end of August via the Ala homepage: https://www.ala-schweiz.ch/index.php.

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Monday, July 24th, 2017
avinews
Biodiversity in Switzerland: state and development

The Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) has published a remarkable report on the results of the monitoring system of the biodiversity in Switzerland. This report, available in French, Italian and German, can be downloaded here. The corresponding press release can be read here.

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Thursday, July 13th, 2017
technews
Pictures and recordings of hidden sightings.

Recently, it has been possible to find out where some observations of protected species were made on the basis of the pictures submitted on ornitho, even though the sightings itself were hidden.
This fact triggered many discussions – some nasty ones too. Therefore, the following changes have been made: From now on, all picture and sound recordings related to hidden sightings are automatically hidden too. This protection cannot be removed by the author. We are aware that this decision implies that the ornitho users are deprived of many pictures, most of which being actually unproblematic. Thanks in advance for your understanding!

Hans Schmid 

in the name of the ornitho.ch steering committee

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Friday, July 7th, 2017
avinews
Birds
Communication of the Swiss Rarities Committee

The Swiss Rarities Committee (SRC) has published the minutes of its last meeting, held on 13.6.2017, on the SRC website (www.vogelwarte.ch/src). Among the reports accepted during that meeting are the 1st record of Lesser Black-backed Gull with characters of the subspecies Larus fuscus graellsii, the 3rd record of Green-winged Teal, the 17th record of Black-winged Kite, the 18th record of Horned Lark as well as the 1st breeding record of a Collared Flycatcher (male) outside Ticino and the Grisons, with a female of undetermined species.

In order to facilitate its administrative work, the SRC recommends to send the rarities reports and photographic proofs as soon as possible and if possible in electronic format (preferably as Word file) to the following address: sak@vogelwarte.ch. The form can be downloaded from the SRC website (www.vogelwarte.ch/src-downloads).

The SRC thanks you for your collaboration and wishes you many interesting summer observations.

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Friday, June 16th, 2017
avinews
Butterflies
Have you seen Red Admirals? Please record your sightings!

In Switzerland, Red Admirals (Vanessa atalanta) currently appear to be rather common in forests as well as at higher altitudes. At the same time Red Admirals are currently recolonising the northern half of Scandinavia.

The citizen science project dedicated to the study of the occurrence and migration of the Red Admiral in Europe still needs your help. Please keep recording Red Admirals via www.ornitho.ch!

Find out more about the project and how you can contribute here: https://insectmigration.wordpress.com/red-admiral-migration/

By the way: the app NaturaList allows you to report Red Admirals from anywhere!

Many thanks to everyone reporting Red Admirals – every sighting is a valuable contribution to the project!

 

Marco Thoma, Insect Migration & Ecology Research Group, University of Bern

 

PS: Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and get regular updates on the project and related topics.

posted by Hans Schmid
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