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Wednesday, June 29th, 2022
avinews
Birds
Second Osprey Morning full of surprises

The results of this year's second Osprey morning confirm the presence of at least 4 territorial males, with a few other surprises. For more details see www.balbuzards.ch. Photo: Pascal Rapin.

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Friday, June 24th, 2022
tipnews
Birds
Sightings from mountainous regions

Observations made above the forest line are extremely valuable due to the fact that the density of birdwatchers in the Alps and the Jura is rather low. We are also interested in observations of migrating and wintering birds at high altitudes. When submitting your observations, do not forget to check the altitude suggested by the system and correct it if necessary.

In order to get the best possible information, we ask you to locate your sightings as precisely as possible (zoom into the map until the blue and yellow dots appear, then click on the observation site; in the drop-down menu displayed, select "Add observation with exact localization"; the tip of the red pointer should point to the observation site). By doing so the altitude of the observation is automatically and precisely determined by the system. You can also add exact localizations to observation lists if you wish to (see Tipnews from 6.5.2022). If you use the NaturaList app, each of your sightings is automatically localized exactly.

We thank you in advance for your commitment and wish you fruitful hikes!

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Tuesday, June 21st, 2022
tipnews
Birds
Jobs at the Vogelwarte

Dear ornithologists

The Swiss Ornithological Institute has recently advertised several new job offers: www.vogelwarte.ch/de/vogelwarte/mitarbeit/jobs/ These include two project manager positions in the departments "Monitoring" and "Situation of the bird world". For these two positions, profound knowledge of the Swiss avifauna is also required, which is why we would like to explicitly draw your attention to this. The deadline for applications for the two positions mentioned is Sunday 3 July.

posted by Sämi Wechsler
 
Friday, June 17th, 2022
tipnews
Birds
Young birds: Which atlas code to use and how to record birds age?

Towards summer, the number of immature birds increases. As they are a proof of a successful breeding, it is important to report them as correctly as possible.

The atlas code is the parameter to use. We recommend that you always use the highest possible code corresponding to the given situation. The following codes can be used to confirm the presence of young birds from the current breeding season: 13, 16 and 19.

Atlas code 19 is used when you find a nest containing eggs or young birds. It is not mandatory that you see the young birds: begging calls are sufficient, e.g. in a nesting box, or if you see adult birds carrying food to the nest at regular intervals.

Atlas code 16 is used if you see at least one adult bird carrying food for the young birds. It should not be used, however, if an adult is bringing food to the nest as part of the courtship or feeds its partner. On the other hand, this code can also be used, especially for songbirds, if you observe an adult feeding a young bird outside the nest.

Atlas code 13 refers to young birds that have left the nest. For nidicolous birds (e.g. songbirds, birds of prey), the code should only be used in the first days after the young birds leave the nest and if they are still clearly dependent on their parents. After that time, the young birds often begin extensive reconnaissance flights far away from their breeding area. As an extreme case one should mention young Black-crowned Night-Herons: they can appear in June, often still have down feathers on their head, but have been hatched outside the country. In such cases definitely do not use an atlas code! In the case of precocial birds, especially ducks, the code is used as long as the families are still easily recognizable as such. It can also be used for large fledglings until they become fledged.

In the detailed information field regarding age and sex, there are various ways to document young birds from the current calendar year: "chick", "1st year" and "immature". The term "chick" refers both to young nidicolous birds in the nest and precocial birds still wearing down feathers. Nidicolous young birds outside the nest and precocial birds which are already wearing the juvenile dress are called "1st year". Of course a chick is also a 1st year old bird and it is not wrong to call a chick that way - it is just less precise. The term "immature", on the other hand, is very imprecise and should be avoided if possible for birds that can be clearly identified as this year's birds.

Furthermore we would like to point out that it is very valuable for duck families if you indicate the number of young birds/families as well as the size of the young birds in eighths (relative to the mother) under the remarks field. See leaflet "Altersbestimmung bei Jungenten / Détermination de l'âge des canetons".

The more precise your sightings are documented, the easier it is to interpret them correctly. Many thanks for your help!

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Saturday, June 11th, 2022
technews
NaturaList maps: Switch from Google to Swisstopo now!

An analysis of map use in the ornitho app NaturaList (for Android and iOS) has shown that the Google street map "Google plan" is used very frequently. This is astonishing, as this map layer is conceivably unsuitable for accurately reporting bird observations: it shows almost no terrain features that could be used for orientation.

Almost every other available map layer offers better possibilities for the exact location of your observations - on aerial photos, even individual trees and bushes can be clearly recognised. Another disadvantage of all Google map layers is that they incur costs for the ornitho system per use! This money could be much better spent on new developments on the ornitho platforms and in the NaturaList app.

Familiarise yourself with the multitude of high quality map layers in ornitho! You can change the map layer via the "Layers" icon in the top left corner of the map. In the "Preferred settings" under "Map" you can select a map layer that is displayed by default at the beginning (default map).

We recommend either the map "Swisstopo Map Live" or the aerial image "Swisstopo SWISSIMAGE Live". In other countries, where the high-quality maps of our Federal Office of Topography are not available, "OpenStreetMap Live" is a valid alternative. Change over now and adapt your standard map on your smartphone! Thank you very much!

posted by Sämi Wechsler
 
Thursday, June 9th, 2022
avinews
Birds
Ospreys well on track

The results of the first "Osprey morning" 2022 are now available on www.balbuzards.ch.

After the discovery of a new occupied territory at the Grande Cariçaie, a second morning is planned for 19 June from 5:30 to 10:00. If you are interested in participating, please contact Wendy Strahm, project coordinator of Nos Oiseaux, directly at wendy.strahm@gmail.com.

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Wednesday, June 8th, 2022
avinews
Birds
The Eurasian African Bird Migration Atlas

The Eurasian African Bird Migration Atlas has just gone online. The immense project succeeded under the leadership of the European Union for Bird Ringing (EURING), thanks to the cooperation of many ringing centres and more than 100 years of ringing in Europe. It was implemented on behalf of the names of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS, "Bonn Convention") and financed by Italy. We congratulate the BTO and all others involved on this milestone and are pleased that ringing records and many statistics of more than 300 bird species are now available online.

 

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Wednesday, June 1st, 2022
avinews
Birds
Did a bird hit a window? Please report it via ornitho.ch!

Since our call in January, there have been 58 reports of birds colliding with glass on ornitho.ch. The most common Swiss breeding bird, the Chaffinch, has had the highest number of collision reports so far (8). However, the five reported collisions of Sparrowhawks show that less common bird species are also affected by glass impacts.

In order to better understand the phenomenon of "bird collisions with glass" and to take adequate measures against it, we ask you to continue to report collisions of birds with glass on ornitho.ch. It is important to report both birds that die in the collision and birds that may survive the collision. To enable you to report these special cases correctly with the mortality tool, we have provided a quick guide. It shows you how to enter the required information in the comment field and how to send us pictures of the affected building. You can find the reporting instructions here: German / French / Italian.

Thank you for your help!

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Wednesday, May 18th, 2022
tipnews
Birds
Ducks families

At this time of year more and more ducks families are observed on lakes and rivers. Apart from Mallards, all kinds of wild ducks are monitored by the "monitoring of selected species" program for which the total number of brood is counted. In order to obtain an accurate synthesis at the end of the breeding season we need precise information. For these observations it is therefore important to mention specifically the number of families present and, for each family, the amount of chicks and their size has to be specified (remarks field). The following link gives indications on how to estimate the size of chicks relatively to the size of adults: Altersbestimmung bei Jungenten / Détermination de l'âge des canetons).

Thanks in advance for these precisions. They simplify the data analysis and the monitoring of rare species.

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Tuesday, May 17th, 2022
avinews
Birds
Communication of the Swiss Rarities Committee

The Swiss Rarities Committee (SRC) has published the minutes of its last meeting, held on 31 March 2022, on the SRC website (www.vogelwarte.ch/src). Among the reports accepted during that meeting are the 1st record of Bonelli's Eagle in category A, the 1st record of Greater Spotted Eagle “fulvescens", the 2nd record of Purple Gallinule in category C, the 14th record of Spectacled Warbler, the 17th-21st records of Pygmy Cormorant, the 19th record of Lesser Spotted Eagle since 1900 and the 20th record of Lesser Kestrel since 1900.

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 PDF file) to the following address: sak@vogelwarte.ch. The form can be downloaded from the SRC website (www.vogelwarte.ch/src-downloads). In the normal case, the person who discovered the bird is responsible for the sighting documentation.

The SRC thanks you for your collaboration!

posted by Bernard Volet
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