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Saturday, April 3rd, 2021
tipnews
Birds
Disturbance during the breeding period and pictures taken at nests

While birdwatching, be irreproachable!

More and more people are interested in birdwatching and that is wonderful! At the same time, we also know that birds are suffering heavy threats and that many species are weakened by perturbations and that their habitats disappear… For all these reasons, ALL OF US should adopt an irreproachable behaviour at any circumstances and regardless to the species considered. A code of ethics, which has already been adopted by most of us, exists. Nevertheless, Nos Oiseaux, ornitho.ch, Birdlife Switzerland, Ficedula and the Swiss Ornithological Institute would like you to pay a special attention to the following points:

  • Do not drive on restricted roads (especially in mountainous and agricultural areas).
  • Never leave the official paths in natural reserves.
  • Never enter agriculture areas or ecological compensation zones.
  • Don't imitate the songs and calls and avoid tape-luring.
  • A picture is nothing worth if it was taken to the detriment of the bird or its environment. Moreover such pictures will never be accepted for any of our publications. Avoid taking photos of birds on the nest, as the breeding success is strongly correlated to the disturbance level. (Note that disruptions during the breeding period imply a violation of the Federal Hunting Act and can therefore be prosecuted).
  • A rare bird does NOT justify transgressing the rules cited above.

Teach your family and friends to observe the same comportment.

Thank you for your understanding and your sensitivity towards nature and birds.

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Tuesday, March 16th, 2021
avinews
Birds
Grey Heron: Please count and report colony size now

The breeding period of grey herons is already in full swing. It is now and especially during April (but still before the leaves shoot!) the best time to find colonies and count the number of occupied nests.

The Swiss Ornithological Institute uses observations reported via ornitho.ch to document the development of the grey heron (see index). We are grateful if you try to count the number of occupied nests in known colonies and report this through ornitho.ch. We are also dependent on you to detect any new colonies: Grey herons flying into the edge of a forest can be a promising indication. In order make your data most valuable to science, please report colonies as accurately as possible (precise location) and fill in the number of occupied nests in the colony tool.

Thank you very much for your collaboration!

Swiss Ornithological Institute

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Thursday, March 11th, 2021
tipnews
Mammals
Stoat and time of molting

Most of the Stoats turn into white during wintertime. Observations suggest that this is not anymore the case for all individuals. Molting stoats or even completely brown individuals are now observed even in the middle of winter. One explication may be that this is linked to the fact that we are confronted with an increasing number of winter only scarcely covered with snow. In fact, the effect of camouflage becomes useless when a completely white stoat is crossing a greenish countryside.  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. Additionally it is of value to indicate the precise locality of observation to gather information about the habitat use and the altitude dependency.

posted by Simon Capt
 
Thursday, February 18th, 2021
avinews
Birds

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Friday, January 22nd, 2021
avinews
Birds
Communication of the Swiss Rarities Committee
The Swiss Rarities Committee (SRC) has published the minutes of its last meeting, held on 6 January 2021, on the SRC website (www.vogelwarte.ch/src). Among the reports accepted during that meeting are the 3rd record of Blyth’s Reed-warbler, the 4th record of Pallas’s Leaf-warbler as well as the 2nd and the 10th records of Greenish Warbler.
 
In addition, the 2019 annual report published in December 2020 in Ornithologischer Beobachter and Nos Oiseaux can also be downloaded in pdf format from www.vogelwarte.ch/src.
 
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 2020 by 31 January 2021 at the latest, so that the SRC can examine those reports in time. 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 observations!
posted by Bernard Volet
 
Thursday, January 14th, 2021
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 last year: you 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 6th, 2021
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 2021, birds born in 2020 are in their second year (and not in their first year). Those born in 2019 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 (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
 
Friday, January 1st, 2021
avinews
Many thanks for your committment in 2020!

Despite the pandemic, 2020 was again a very successful year for ornitho.ch. More than 2,31 million sightings have been posted on ornitho.ch! Your observations were coming from over 28’000 different kilometer squares in Switzerland; this means that 2 out of 3 kilometer squares were visited by at least one of more than 2000 active contributors of ornitho.ch. A big thank for this assiduous and impressive commitment!

We wish each user of ornitho.cha healthy, happy and prosperous year and hope that 2021 will again provide you with many surprises and discoveries!

Your ornitho.ch-team

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Sunday, December 27th, 2020
avinews
Birds
5th Winter White Stork Census (9th January)

The migratory behavior of the White Stork has changed in the last years. Many Storks are not moving to West Africa any longer but remain in southern Spain the whole winter. More and more Storks have been spending a part of or the whole winter also in Switzerland in the recent years.

The 5th Winter White Stork Census in Switzerland will take place on 9th January 2021. The association “Swiss Storks” requests your help. All sightings, including ring readings, can be submitted via ornitho.ch. If you wish to commit yourself to search a specific area, please contact “Swiss Storks” (phone: 062 965 29 26) directly. More information about this census can be found here.

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020
avinews
Birds
Updates on data protection and special access

Dear ornitho.ch users
Over the last few weeks, we have been discussing several updates concerning the protection of sightings and the access to data of sensitive species.

Automatically protected species

The list of automatically protected species has been shortened and the sightings of some species are not automatically protected any more. This review is valid from now on. We have now set criteria defining which species can be subject to automatic data protection. Whoever wants to initiate a protection to other species can submit an application which must be approved by at least three members of the national steering group of ornitho.ch.

We explicitly draw your attention to the fact that besides this, the elements formulated under the terms of use still apply. Of course, everybody has the right to protect any or all of their sightings individually. In 2020, about 9% of all sightings were submitted as protected. As this rate is rising over the years, we encourage our users not to exaggerate while using this protection function. Ornitho.ch lives from the sharing of our observations and we ask you to support this positive basic idea. On the other hand, we should not conceal the fact that we often receive information about people who unfortunately behave inconsiderately towards sensitive species, disregard nature conservation rules and the rights of landowners. In such cases, we may be forced to immediately set up automatic protection for additional species.

Special access to protected sightings

In a second step, we contacted the persons who have special access to protected sightings (e.g., the bearded vulture specialists for sightings of bearded vultures in breeding areas). In the future, such accesses must be re-evaluated every 2 years and approved by at least three members of the national steering group. For this purpose please use this following application form. In principle, only those who actively submit sightings on ornitho.ch are entitled to get such a special access. Our overview here shows (at the bottom) at any time transparently who has a special access for which species.

We hope that with the consistent implementation of these rules, ornitho.ch will continue to enjoy an excellent reputation for credibility and respectful handling of data of sensitive species. If you have any questions in this context, please do not hesitate to contact us at support@ornitho.ch.

Your ornitho.ch team

posted by Hans Schmid
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