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Monday, March 30th, 2020
avinews
Birds
Communication of the Swiss Rarities Committee

The Swiss Rarities Committee (SRC) has published the minutes of its last meeting, held on 25 February 2020, on the SRC website (www.vogelwarte.ch/src). Among the reports accepted during that meeting are the 1st record of Isabelline Wheatear, the 1st record of Spanish Sparrow, the 2nd record of Hume’s Leaf-warbler, the 3rd record of Laughing Gull, the 16th record of Sociable Lapwing, the 15th-16th record of Lesser Spotted Eagle since 1900 and several breeding records of Zitting Cisticola. In addition, the dates of the first record of Franklin’s Gull have been completed and the only record of Dalmatian Pelican, dating from 2010, has been revised and moved from category D to category A.

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). 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
 
Friday, March 27th, 2020
tipnews
Birds

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Wednesday, March 25th, 2020
technews
Service interruption: The ornitho platform grows and grows ...

... therefore some hard disks have to be exchanged for more powerful ones. Unfortunately, such an exchange necessitates a shut-down of the whole system. This is planned to take place on March 26th 2020 between midnight and noon. In that time the ornitho.ch platform has to be shut down. In the meantime you can of course store your observations on NaturaList as usual (and upload them later).

Thank you very much for your understanding and your commitment!

Your ornitho.ch-team

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Tuesday, March 24th, 2020
avinews
Birds
#StayHomeAndWatchOut, a success story!

Our #StayHomeAndWatchOut campaign is a success - whether from the kitchen window, from the balcony or from the garden. 105 persons have already taken part to this project and completed 227 observation daily lists - thank you very much! 108 bird species have been observed up to now. The most frequently one is the Chaffinch, its migration is still strong by now and it was observed in 157 places (69% of the daily lists). The Chaffinch is followed by the Blackbird (154), Carrion Crow (150), House Sparrow (149), Blue Tit (140), Great tit (139), European Robin (129), Wood Pigeon (127), Black Redstart (125) and Red Kite (121). On the other hand, some species have been observed only once in that time: Mute Swan, Common Shelduck, Red-crested Pochard, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Golden Eagle, Moorhen, Herring Gull, Barn Owl, Alpine Swift, Alpine Willow Tit, Spotted Nutcracker and Citril Finch.

#StayHomeAndWatchOut is going on. Get involved too!

We wish you many nice observations!

Your ornitho.ch-team

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Monday, March 23rd, 2020
avinews
Birds
Birdwatching in a state of emergency

The operators of ornitho.ch take the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic very seriously. Our top priority is to not stress unnecessarily our healthcare system and protect the weakest. We therefore demand you to strictly follow the instructions and recommendations of local authorities at any time.

We are aware that being outdoors and birdwatching is positive both for physical and psychological health. For those who want/need to watch birds in the current situation, please pay attention to the following points:

  • If possible, prefer birdwatching from home (see our campaign #StayHomeAndWatchOut, ornitho-news from March 19th 2020).
  • Remain alone or with as few people as possible. Always go out with the same persons to keep the number of contacts as low as possible.
  • Should you go out alone, let someone know about your plans and carry a cell phone with you.
  • Be especially careful, at any time. Causing an accident will put an additional strain on our healthcare system.  
  • Always pay attention to distances and basic hygiene rules when you meet other birdwatchers (or other persons in general), e.g. in parking lots, on observation towers or platforms. Never share optical devices!
Your ornitho.ch-team
posted by Hans Schmid
 
Thursday, March 19th, 2020
avinews
Birds
Confined...but birding!

It's time to be responsible and stay at home. But the confinement caused by the coronavirus outbreak is no reason to stop birding. Since we have to spend long hours at home, we can take advantage of it doing more complete lists and add observations of birds and other taxons in urban and near-urban environments, or even in the countryside if you are lucky enough to live in the middle of nature. It goes without saying that you fully respect the privacy of your neighbours when practicing birdwatching. 

To encourage you, we have set up the project "#StayHomeAndWatchOutat ornitho.ch and on other ornitho-portals. This will make it very easy for you to mark all the observations you get while you are confined at home. That is, the observations you do from the window of your house or the balcony, garden or terrace of your home. You just have to assign the study code "#StayHomeAndWatchOutto your observations when you enter them on ornitho.ch or in the Naturalist app.

How many bird species can we detect in Switzerland without leaving home for the duration of the confinement? What will be the maximum in a single day? How much data and lists can we get? Soon we will find out thanks to #StayHomeAndWatchOut and ornitho.

Stay tuned, we will have more updates soon!

Your team ornitho.ch

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Monday, March 16th, 2020
avinews
Birds
A “moulting” magazine

The Ala magazine "Ornithologischer Beobachter" (in German) has become a new layout. Printed four times per year this magazine publishes contributions from committed ornithologists, voluntary or professional. From now on, it includes also shorter scientific reports and photos of spectacular occurrences concerning ornithology or other groups as well as on conservation biology in general. The editors of the “Ornithologischer Beobachter“ would be happy to help you publish your own publication! Further information and free-download of a sample at www.ala-schweiz.ch/ornithol-beob.

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Friday, March 13th, 2020
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
 
Saturday, February 1st, 2020
avinews
Birds
Advance notice: Black-headed gulls roosts census for next winter

For the next winter (2020/2021), the ornithology youth group “Bebbi Babbler” and the Swiss Ornithological Institute is planning a national Black-headed gull roosts census - the last one is many decades old by now. The locations of these sleeping places are currently only partially known. If you wish to help on this project please report your observations of Black-headed gull roosts already this winter (add "sleeping place" in the remarks field). A precise counting of the birds is not mandatory by now, a rough estimate is sufficient. Such sleeping places are quite often found in the middle of lakes.

Thanks a lot for your commitment!

Your ornitho.ch team

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Monday, January 27th, 2020
tipnews
Birds
Terra incognita 2020

The birdwatching activity has increased spectacularly in recent years. Nevertheless, many kilometer squares in Switzerland are still mostly unknown ornithologically speaking. We would like to encourage you to left aside the hot spots from time to time and to go bird-watching in those less-visited areas. Even if no rarities are seen, observations in these regions are very interesting for the Swiss Ornithological Institute (especially complete daily lists). The following file contains the list of the least visited kilometer squares areas in Switzerland (i.e. all kilometer squares with at most 2 visits since 2015). To view the file, proceed as follow:

1. Download the file at the end of this news (Flachen_Terra_incognita_2020-5952.kml).
2a. Open the file with Google Earth (double click on file) >> View on Google Earth
2b. Drag'n'drop the file directly onto the SwissTopo map in your browser (https://map.geo.admin.ch) and release it there >> View on maps from SWISSTOPO.
3. Zoom in on the region of interest. The “unknown areas” ("Terra incognita") are framed with a red square.

Have fun discovering new horizons!

Your ornitho.ch team

Document to download :  Flachen_Terra_incognita_2020-5952.kml
posted by Sämi Wechsler
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