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Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
tipnews
Birds
Terra incognita 2023

In recent years, there has been a encouraging increase in observation activity. Nevertheless, there are still many kilometre squares in Switzerland that are rarely visited by ornithologists. With the "Terra incognita" project, we would like to encourage you to go birdwatching away from the ornithological hotspots from time to time. Even if no rarities are seen, reports from such areas are very interesting for the Swiss Ornithological Institute - especially on complete observation lists. This zoomable map shows you exactly where the rarely visited kilometre squares are (all kilometre squares with a maximum of 2 excursions since 2018). The map can also be accessed at any time via the Instructions and Tips > Terra incognita menu. We wish you nice walks and maybe you will nevertheless succeed in making a surprising observation.

Your ornitho.ch-Team

posted by Sämi Wechsler
 
Tuesday, January 10th, 2023
avinews
Birds
31st Annual Report of the Swiss Rarities Committee (SRC)

No less than three first records for the country were obtained in the year 2021, namely the first records of Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri, Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis and Bonelli’s Eagle A. fasciata. The latter concerned a satellite-tagged bird originating from Greece not seen in the field. Other highlights included the returning Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis, the first record of Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax since 1996, the fifth record each of Dartford Warbler Sylvia undata and Iberian Chiffchaff Phylloscopus ibericus, as well as the first record of Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica since 1998 (tenth record overall). A total of four observations of the Audouin’s Gull Larus audouinii (records 11 to 14) corresponds to a record number. Once again, a strong influx of the Rosy Starling Pastor roseus was recorded. However, with a total of 25 records, it was much less pronounced than in the previous year.

The forms for documenting these observations can be filled in directly on ornitho.ch : the online form appears automatically when a sighting needs to be documented. If you use NaturaList, you will see these observations on your ornitho.ch homepage, under the heading "My records without rarity report". In the absence of photographs or recordings, the most important part of the form is the detailed description of the bird. Describe all the details you observed (the bill, its length, shape and colour, the pattern of the head, back, wings, underparts, tail, rump and undercaudals, length and colour of the legs, a sketch can also be very useful) and transcribe as much as possible the calls or song. This information is very important for documenting unusual sightings.

The CAvS would like to thank you for your valuable contributions and wishes you many pleasant surprises in the coming months!

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Saturday, January 7th, 2023
technews
Birds
Is your email address up to date?

We would like to remind you to check whether the email address you use as a login at ornitho.ch is still the one you use regularly. If this is not the case, please update it in the menu "e-mail account and password" (last section bottom left). This is important because your email is the only way for us to contact you if we have any questions about some of your observations.

If you have forgotten your password, you can request a new one at any time. Should you experience any difficulties, please do not create a new account, but contact us (support@ornitho.ch). If you create a new account, you won’t be able to retrieve the sightings of your previous account.

By the way: your ornitho.ch credentials are actually "Global". The e-mail address and the password you use for ornitho.ch are valid at the same time for each and every portal of the ornitho family (e.g. data.biolovision.net, ornitho.de, faune-france.org, ornitho.it etc.) and of course for the app NaturaList too!

The long winter evenings also offer an ideal opportunity to review your observations of the las yearyou might remember exciting excursions - and perhaps discover some unnoticed mistakes (species you haven’t seen, place you have never been to, etc.). Should this be the case, please report these mistakes at any time to support@ornitho.ch with the permalink of the sighting/daily list: it's never too late to correct an error!


We wish you inspiring observations!
Your ornitho.ch team

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Wednesday, January 4th, 2023
tipnews
Birds
Be careful! Birds are getting older...

The bird’s age is commonly measured in calendar years (i.e. the "official birthday" of every bird is the 1st January). It means that since the 1st January 2023, birds born in 2022 are in their second year (and not in their first year). Those born in 2021 are now in their third year and so on... Keep it in mind if you specify the bird’s age in your sightings!

However, this information is optional. Indeed, the determination of age and sex is often far from obvious, sometimes impossible, or only if the bird is in hand. To find out whether determination is possible, one can refer to the usual identification guides where it is then clearly indicated (e.g. the ornithological guide by Svensson et al.). The golden rule is therefore to use these boxes only when you are absolutely certain of the determination. It is better to leave them empty than to enter false information.

Thank you very much!

Your ornitho.ch-team

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Saturday, December 31st, 2022
avinews
Many thanks for your active support in 2022!

2022 was again a very successful year for ornitho.ch. 2,25 million sightings, covering more than 1000 animal species, have been posted on ornitho.ch by 5500 active observers! A big thank for this assiduous and impressive commitment!

We wish each user of ornitho.ch a healthy, happy and prosperous year and hope that 2023 will again provide you with many surprises and discoveries!

Your ornitho.ch-team

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Wednesday, December 28th, 2022
avinews
Birds
Seventh winter census of White Storks (7 January)

The migratory behaviour of White Storks has changed. Many storks no longer migrate to West Africa, but spend the winter in southern Spain. More storks are also staying in Switzerland.

For the seventh winter stork census, which will take place throughout Switzerland on 7 January 2023, the Swiss Stork Society is asking for your help. All observations, including ring readings, can be entered into ornitho.ch. If you want to participate in the targeted research in a region, please contact the Swiss Stork Society (or 062 965 29 26). You can find more information here.

Thank you for your help!

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Wednesday, December 7th, 2022
technews
Pictures: now uploadable in unlimited size

The size of photos and sound recordings which you want to attach to a sighting has long been limited. Since a few months you can upload images directly without having to compress them first. Compression is now done within ornitho.ch. However, we would be grateful if you would upload only 1–3 pictures per record, except in justified cases.

Your ornitho.ch team

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Thursday, December 1st, 2022
avinews
Birds
Last field season at the Ticino Winter Atlas

Thursday 1 December 2022 will mark the beginning of the last field research season for the Ticino Winter Bird Atlas, which started on 1 December 2018. This phase will end on 31 January 2023.

Every single data item counts, but of even greater value are the semi-quantitative surveys carried out on 1km/1h runs within the 1x1km cells. For this part of the research, which is reserved for contributors with good skills, it is necessary to use the complete lists with NaturaList (Android or iPhone) using the "List" function and also saving the route. The application automatically records and counts all observations and elapsed time. For those who do not have the possibility to use this system, we recommend to print out the 1 km route on a map and then transfer the observations to ornitho.ch using the "List" function.

More details can be found at https://www.ficedula.ch/atlante-invernale.

FICEDULA thanks you in advance for your valuable cooperation!

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Tuesday, November 29th, 2022
avinews
Influx of Kittiwakes

The storms that have been hitting the Atlantic coasts since the middle of the month have pushed many pelagic birds onto the coasts and even much further inland.

The extent of the phenomenon is particularly visible in the case of Black-legged Kittiwakes, of which numerous exhausted individuals have been reported throughout France, Switzerland and as far as the Neusiedlersee in Austria, as the map of sightings collected on the ornitho-portals impressively shows. The last major invasion took place in January 2009. A Sabine's Gull has also strayed as far as Switzerland in recent days (subject to approval by the SRC).

During the same period, an influx of Razorbills was observed along the entire Catalan coast and as far as the Italian coast, with one bird even reaching Greece.

The ornitho.ch team

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Thursday, November 24th, 2022
avinews
Birds
Communication of the Swiss Rarities Committee

The Swiss Rarities Committee (SRC) has published the minutes of its last meeting, held on 9 November 2022, on the SRC website (www.vogelwarte.ch/src). Among the reports accepted during that meeting are the 2nd record of Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, the 11th record of Great Spotted Cuckoo, the 12th record of Terek Sandpiper, the 14th and 16th records of Audouin's Gull,the 17th record of Pine Bunting, the 22th record of Pygmy Cormorant and the 20th record of Lesser Spotted Eaglesince 1900.

Forms for the Swiss Rarities Committee can now be submitted directly to ornitho.ch. The online form appears automatically when a sighting needs to be documented. Please note that a detailed description of the bird and/or the voice and the circumstances of the observation are particularly important. Any complements (e.g. field sketch, photographs) are welcome. In the normal case, the person who discovered the bird is responsible for the sighting documentation.

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

posted by Bernard Volet
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