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Friday, July 13th, 2018
avinews
Mammals
Record marmot sightings for the new mammal atlas

The distribution map of marmots still has a lot of gaps. With your help we would like to identify all marmot colonies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein and record them on a national distribution map for the new mammal atlas. However, even sightings from areas already known to have marmots are important. Such areas will allow us to monitor population trends.

To find the map with the gaps in the distribution and for further information, please visit the webplatform säugetieratlas.wildenachbarn.ch (in German) or nosvoisinssauvages.ch (in French). Observations can be uploaded to ornitho.ch, webfauna.ch, säugetieratlas.wildenachbarn.ch, or nosvoisinssauvages.ch.

Are marmots moving to higher altitudes as an adaptation to climate change? Are their populations growing, stable, or shrinking? A complete distribution map provides a foundation to investigate future shifts.

The new mammal atlas for Switzerland and Liechtenstein is a project by the Swiss Society of Wildlife Biology.

posted by Simon Capt
 
Saturday, July 7th, 2018
avinews
Birds
Communication of the Swiss Rarities Committee

The Swiss Rarities Committee (SRC) has published the minutes of its last meeting, held on 12.6.2018, on the SRC website (www.vogelwarte.ch/src).Among the reports accepted during that meeting are the 2nd record of Lesser Black-backed Gull with characters of the subspecies Larus fuscus graellsii, the 5th record of Lesser Black-backed Gull with characters of the subspecies Larus f. fuscus, the 8th and 9th records of Pine Bunting and the 17th record of Chiffchaff with characters of the subspecies Phylloscopus collybita tristis.

In order to guarantee a long term quality of the data published on ornitho.ch, we need you to document your unusual observations (with yellow triangle, e.g. Rosy Starling) as completely as possible. Keep in mind to send your documentation as soon as possible to the Swiss Rarities Committee.

The main goal of documenting a sighting is to produce a detailed description of what you have observed:  Each and every evidence concerning the size, appearance, feathering, calling, song, behaviour, the observation conditions, and diagnostic criteria eliminating similar species are needed. Additional proofs like pictures, video sequences and sound recordings are most welcome. Such documentation is to be done using the official rarities homologation form, which is then sent to the Swiss Rarities Committee (sak@vogelwarte.ch) with the additional proofs. This expert group assesses whether the sighting is correct and sufficiently documented or not to be taken into account in the scientific literature. In the normal case, the person who discovered the bird is responsible for the sighting documentation.

Thanks in advance for your collaboration!

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Monday, June 11th, 2018
technews
Birds
Google maps switched off

Dear users of ornitho,

Last month, Google announced at short notice that websites having Google Maps and Google Satellite Maps embedded will be charged if they register more than 25’000 visits per month. From now on, the use of Google products within the NaturaList app would cost over 3’000 Euro per month. The funding organisms of the ornitho family cannot afford this expense and are constrained to immediately stop this service. We regret this decision and hope you will understand that it was not possible to implement any alternatives in order to bridge the gap in such a short time. We are still looking for alternatives and thank you in advance for your comprehension.
Your ornitho.ch team

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Thursday, June 7th, 2018
avinews
Mammals
Volunteers wanted for hedgehog project

Current observations indicate that fewer hedgehogs live in urban and suburban spaces than 20 years ago. Help us investigate the current state of the Swiss hedgehog populations by monitoring footprint tunnels and sending in your hedgehog observations.

We are looking for volunteers to set up 10 footprint tunnels for one week between May to end of August 2018. Are you interested?

Further information about the project and the study areas can be found on the webplatform säugetieratlas.wildenachbarn.ch (in German) or nosvoisinssauvages.ch (in French) or email igel@wildenachbarn.ch.

Additionally, any observations of hedgehogs or other mammals can be uploaded through ornitho.ch or säugetieratlas.wildenachbarn.ch or nosvoisinssauvages.ch or webfauna.ch.

This hedgehog project is part of the new mammal atlas for Switzerland and Liechtenstein, a project by the Swiss Society of Wildlife Biology.

Verein StadtNatur, c/o SWILD, Wuhrstr. 12, 8003 Zürich

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Saturday, June 2nd, 2018
avinews
Birds
Influx of Rosy Starlings in the ornitho countries

The highly unusual influx of Rosy Starlings has now reached the UK and Catalonia. The occurrence of this bird in the countries using an ornitho platform can be displayed on the map here (zoom in or out with the buttons on the left-hand side).

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Friday, May 25th, 2018
avinews
Birds
Watch out for Rosy Starlings!

In the last few days an unusual influx of Rosy Starlings reached Hungary, Austria and northern Italy. In northern Italy, many groups of up to 50 birds have already been observed. After the two sightings this week in the Grisons and the flock of 25 birds in Ticino yesterday - such a group has never been observed before in Switzerland - one should expect other sightings in a near future. Each sighting of 2018 can be found on a map here. Good luck!

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Friday, April 20th, 2018
avinews
Butterflies
A hard winter for the Red Admiral

Last winter was a hard one for Red Admirals. In contrast to species such as the Brimstone, Red Admirals do not enter “proper” dormancy in winter. They remain inactive during periods of cold weather, but become active on any suitable day and need to refuel. However, days with suitable conditions for flight were rare in Switzerland during the winter 2017/2018, which was characterised by above-average precipitation and below-average sunshine duration. The notion of a hard winter from a Red Admiral’s perspective is further corroborated by butterfly observations recorded on www.ornitho.ch. During the first mild and sunny days in March Red Admirals were recorded in much lower numbers compared to Brimstones, than after last year’s sunny and dry winter.
How will 2018 continue for the Red Admiral? Help us find out! Please report your observations to www.ornitho.ch and thus support the Red Admiral Citizen Science project initiated by the University of Bern.
Thank you very much!

Insect Migration & Ecology Research Group, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern   More

Important note: With its red banded and white spotted black wings, the Red Admiral can be easily distinguished from other butterflies. However, caution is needed when identifying flying individuals. Possible confusion species are Small Tortoiseshell and Painted Lady. Both species are also known to be migratory. For instance, migrating Small tortoiseshells are currently being observed in the Alps.
A useful identification guide can be found here.

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Monday, April 2nd, 2018
avinews
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 Hans Schmid
 
Saturday, March 31st, 2018
technews
Birds
NaturaList: using offline maps

The NaturaList-App (currently only available for Android) enables users to directly enter records in the field and transfer them to ornitho. But what happens if you happen to have no internet access for example in remote alpine valleys, in bordering areas (e.g. Rheindetla A) or simply because you used up your mobile data? No problem if you use the offline-fuctionality of NaturaList. It allows you to donwload high quality maps prior to your birding trip. If you have internet access NaturaList will show the downloaded base map for orientation. Our latest video is a step-by-step instruction (in German) on how to download maps on your smartphone.

BTW: The Swiss Ornithological Institute is covering the costs for the high quality base maps of swisstopo in order to say thanks for your tremendous effort by entering thousands of observations every year.

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Monday, March 26th, 2018
technews
Birds
Bird migration live on radar

The bird migration over Sempach can now be followed up live on ornitho.ch. A radar device developed by the Swiss Ornithological Institute monitors the migration from the Institute visitor centre and gives an update every hour. This service, offered by the Swiss Ornithological Institute, gives the users of ornitho.ch an up-to-date overview of the bird migration intensity, the direction and mean altitude, from the middle of the Swiss Plateau. Last but not least, these continuous records give the Swiss Ornithological Institute useful reference values for future research projects.

Your ornitho.ch team

posted by Hans Schmid
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