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Monday, March 20th, 2017
avinews
Birds
Monitoring of the breeding population of Rooks

The spring is here... As a result Rooks are already present in their breeding colonies and eager to build or repair their nests!

The correct way to submit sightings about Rook colonies:
In order to monitor Rook colonies and report them correctly, please follow the instructions in the "Rook monitoring" section (here, in German). These instructions will help you to determine when and how to report colonies and how to properly use the “colony breeder tool” from ornitho.ch for this species.

Many thanks for your commitment!

Martin Spiess

Swiss Ornithological Institute

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Wednesday, March 15th, 2017
avinews
Mammals
Report mammals sightings

Now that the active field work for the Swiss Breeding Bird Atlas is over, your support is needed for the oncoming Atlas of Swiss Mammals. The first Atlas of Swiss Mammals was published in 1995 and is now out of print and after more than 20 years it is no longer up to date. A working group of the Swiss Society for Wildlife Biology SGW-SSBF is therefore working on a new Atlas. More about this project here.

In 2017 and 2018 the gaps in the distribution maps are to be closed. We therefore ask you to report consistently any observations of mammals and also to pay attention to common species such as chamois, wild boar, fox, badger and hedgehog. Especially for these species there are regionally larger gaps in the distribution maps. Current distribution maps are available here.

We thank you in advance for your commitment, for your valuable cooperation and hope to count on your help in the future as well.

Kind regards,

Roland Graf, Claude Fischer and Simon Capt, for the atlas project working group

 
Please note:

We guarantee that each and every mammals sighting collected via ornitho.ch is automatically made available to the Atlas collaborators. Still, observations of mammals can also be reported via various platforms like www.webfauna.ch of the CSCF-Info Fauna or via www.säugetieratlas.wildenachbarn.ch. These platforms are all part of this new atlas project. However, it is important to avoid reporting the same observation on different platforms. All sightings are periodically sent to the national database managed by the CSCF-Infofauna and serve as the basis for the production of the atlas distribution maps.

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Friday, March 3rd, 2017
avinews
Birds
EuroBirdPortal: now with 100 species and 2015 data!

The EuroBirdPortal is improving continuously: by now, maps and migration charts are available for 100 species and from now on the data for 2015 can be called up too – this includes of course also the data gathered by each and every ornitho platforms! Gabriel Gargallo, Project Coordinator of the EuroBirdPortal, says: "The EBP project will allow a better knowledge of the patterns of bird distribution in space and time across Europe and, thus, help to properly address several issues of high concern in relation to bird conservation and management." And he emphasizes the importance of this project: "Overall, the online data gathering portals run by the EBP partners collect about 40 million bird records every year thanks to the collaboration of more than 100,000 active observers. This is the largest and most dynamic citizen science biodiversity data flow in Europe."

We hope you will use the EuroBirdPortal intensively!

Your ornitho.ch-team

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Wednesday, March 1st, 2017
avinews
Butterflies
Seen a Red Admiral? Please record!

From Italy to Ireland, from Portugal to Finland: More than 40 citizen science portals and institutions operating in 21 countries now support our study on the occurrence and migration of the Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta. We have already collated hundreds of thousands of observations – also thanks to numerous reports from Switzerland! This wealth of data allows us to study Red Admiral migration with an unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution.

With its red banded and white spotted black wings the species is unmistakable. The Red Admiral is a migratory butterfly colonising Central and Northern Europe every year from the South. In autumn, the offspring of these spring arrivals migrate southwards. We study the effects external factors have on the species’ occurrence and investigate how the species responds to a changing climate.

Please keep recording Red Admirals! Whether it is an actively migrating individual or one that shows up on a mild winter day – every record counts!

When recording please indicate if an observation refers to an adult butterfly, a caterpillar, a chrysalis or egg. Use the respective input fields on www.ornitho.ch. Additional information concerning behaviour (mating behaviour, flight direction) is valuable as well.

More about the project here.

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

 

Thanks!

 

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

 

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

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Friday, January 20th, 2017
avinews
Birds
Pine Buntings: regular in Italy

The observations of Pine Buntings near Locarno (TI) in the last days are exceptional for Switzerland. However, a glance at the observations made in Italy shows that this species is fairly regular especially in the north of Italy. More than 150 sightings have been recorded on ornitho.it since 2008, mainly in winter. Therefore, pay attention if you see flocks of buntings, especially in the south side of the Alps!

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Tuesday, January 17th, 2017
technews
Pictures and soundtrack galleries designed anew

The photo and soundtrack galleries have been designed anew and technically updated. Larger pictures can now be displayed and they can also be protected individually (i.e. location is hidden for other users). If you would like to limit the access of your pictures to you and the administrators you can protect them by uploading upon ticking the “red key” on the right side of the data upload field. Additionally, soundtracks are now also displayed as a kind of sonogram.

We hope you will like these innovations!

Your ornitho.ch-team

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Wednesday, January 11th, 2017
tipnews
Mammals
When does the Stoat turn white in winter?

In summertime the fur of the stoat is sandy-brown on the back and head and a white below and turns completely white in winter with the tip of the tail remaining black. Analysis of fortuitous observations show that stoats start molting in October. Molting individuals are observed every month from October to April with changing frequency. Stoats in brown summer fur seem to be absent only in January and February. The first individuals completely white appear during November and the last are observed in April.  As the molt is initiated by the length of the day and the temperature, climate change could in future take influence on this process. Information about the molt are consequently of importance. We ask therefore all observers of stoats to mention if the animal wears a completely brown summer fur or white winter fur or on the other hand has not yet completely molted.

posted by Simon Capt
 
Thursday, January 5th, 2017
avinews
Birds
10 years anniversary for ornitho.ch in Switzerland!

Ten years ago ornitho.ch was made available for the whole Switzerland. From the very beginning ornitho.ch established itself as the national reporting and information platform and enjoys an enormous popularity since then. In the meantime, well over 10 million sightings have been submitted and this ornitho product, “made in Switzerland”, has spread in Europe from Sicily to the Baltic Sea.

In the course of the year, we will pay tribute to this anniversary, for example during the collaborators Conference in Sempach at the end of January.

During these 10 years, the Swiss Ornithological Institute, the Ala, the Ficedula and Nos Oiseaux as carrier organizations as well as the national control group have constantly worked together with the operating company Biolovision, headed by Gaëtan Delaloye, to further develop this platform in accordance with the users’ needs. A tireless effort has also been made by the 30 regional coordinators who permanently check the sightings submitted, guaranteeing therefore a very high data quality. I would like here to thank you all for your commitment!

Hans Schmid, head of the national steering committee of ornitho.ch

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Friday, December 30th, 2016
avinews
Birds
2016 again a top year for ornitho.ch!

Dear users of ornitho.ch,

2016 was once again a very successful year for ornitho.ch: more than 1.71 million bird sightings have been submitted to ornitho.ch, just about 20’000 less than the record of 2015. We are very grateful to all who contributed to this success!

Many improvements have been implemented in 2016:
- the ornitho app NaturaList allows now observation lists.
- the maps of SWISSTOPO can be downloaded on NaturaList for offline use too.
- the results of the international waterfowl census and of the Ptarmigans and Black Grouses Census can be submitted with special modules.
- in cooperation with the CSCF and the KARCH, sightings of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and some insects’ families can be submitted since March. This possibility is already broadly used.
- the Backup system and servers have been updated - so that everything runs smoothly in the background.

Many innovations and improvements will come in 2017, wait and see! Last be not least, we would like here to thank the team of Biolovision, headed by Gaëtan Delaloye, for his tireless commitment throughout the year for ornitho.ch!

We wish you a happy, ornithologically rich, new year… and many great sightings!

Your ornitho.ch team

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Thursday, December 22nd, 2016
avinews
Birds
Communication of the Swiss Rarities Committee

The Swiss Rarities Committee (SRC) has published the minutes of its last meeting, held on 23 November 2016, on the SRC website (www.vogelwarte.ch/src). Among the reports accepted during that meeting are the 1st record of Saker Falcon in category A, the 2nd record of Subalpine Warbler with characters of the subspecies Sylvia cantillans albistriata, the 4th record of Iberian Chiffchaff, the 13th record of Chiffchaff with characters of the subspecies Phylloscopus collybita tristis, the 16th record of Black-winged Kite, the 16th and 17th records of Richard’s Pipit as well as several records of Subalpine Warblers (20) and Yellow-browed Warblers (13). In addition, all records of Richard’s Pipit have 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 2016 by 10 January 2017 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
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